Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has brought former Hearts assistant coach Austin MacPhee into his backroom team.

The 41-year-old joins the English Premier League club as their dedicated set-piece coach. Aston Villa were keen to appoint a specialist to help Smith’s team achieve success from set-piece situations. MacPhee has been identified as the ideal person for the vacancy.

Called in by Aston Villa (Photo by Christian Cooksey/Getty Images)

MacPhee was consistently working on set-pieces during his three-and-a-half-year stay at Hearts. He left the Scottish Premiership club in May 2020 and joined Danish club Midtjylland. He continued to work as part of the Northern Ireland international team’s coaching staff, a role he operated in while at Hearts.

MacPhee worked as Hearts assistant before taking over as interim manager in the wake of Craig Levein’s departure as manager in 2019.

Rumours persisted that MacPhee was a candidate to become sporting director at Hearts after his spell as interim manager but those did not come to fruition.

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