NEW Kelty Hearts manager Kevin Thomson admitted that taking the job was “a wee bit of a risk” but one he always wanted to take.

The former Hibernian and Rangers midfielder, 36, left his role within the Ibrox club’s academy to take up the position at New Central Park following the departure of Barry Ferguson.

Thomson’s former team-mate quit the club just days after guiding them into the SPFL for the first time in their history to take over at Alloa Athletic.

Kelty moved quickly to secure Ferguson’s replacement, announcing him on Friday May 27, 24 hours after Ferguson took the reigns at the Indodrill Stadium.

With Craig Reid and Andy Rodgers moving on from the club, Thomson, who has recruited Musselburgh Athletic manager, Kevin McDonald, as his number two has been at work quickly strengthening his pool, signing former Dundee and Hibernian centre back Jordon Forster; ex-Pars and Partick Thistle winger Joe Cardle; and ex-Rangers midfielder Jamie Barjonas, who agreed a one-year deal last Wednesday.

Edinburgh City's defensive midfielder, Andrew Black, has also signed on, whilst Thomson has also secured captain Michael Tidser, goalkeepers Darren Jamieson and Josh Donaldson, midfielders Thomas Reilly and Kallum Higginbotham, and striker Nathan Austin, on new contracts.

Speaking to Press Sport last Tuesday, Thomson admitted that taking the job was a decision he had to think about but was thrilled to have chosen to make the move.

“I was in a full-time role at Rangers, a club that I adore really. I had a good role, well thought of, and when Dean (McKenzie, general manager) picked up the phone, my initial thought was I wasn’t too sure.

“You then obviously go and do some due diligence, you weigh up things with your family, you start to look at the squad, you ask what his aspirations are, you kind of go back and forth numerous times.

“You start to look at what kind of team you could put on the pitch, you start to look at what sort of contacts you’ve got – it just never really stops, does it? I suppose that’s the life of being a manager.

“I didn’t hire and fire the players as such at Rangers. There’s a recruitment team, so it’s slightly different from what I’ve been doing, but I’ve been waiting for this kind of opportunity for a long time.

“I just had to weigh up if it was right. It’s a wee bit of a risk, leaving a full-time club like Rangers, a wonderful club like Rangers, but at the same time, I’m a risk-taker and I want to try get to where I want to get to.

“I think it’s a good match for hopefully Kelty and it’s a good match for me and Geordie (McDonald).”

In addition to those arriving and signing new deals, six players have also left the club, with Andy Rodgers, Paddy Boyle, Jamie Stevenson, Thomas Scobbie, Matthew Flynn and Craig Reid all heading out of New Central Park.

He added: “I’ve spoken to the majority of the players.

“We’ve tried to refresh the squad, we’ve tried to look at what’s in the market, it’s all systems go as such. Let’s see how we go.

“They had a really competitive squad but I think I’d be naive to think we didn’t want to put our own stamp on it. We wanted to try and look at the market to see what players are available.”