Hearts have confirmed John Rankin has left Tynecastle to take up the reins as assistant manager to Stuart Taylor at Hamilton Accies – with former Jambos star Steven Naimsith taking over from Rankin as under-18s boss at the Gorgie side.

Rankin, who has been part of the youth set up at Hearts since before he retired as a player in 2020 heads to the Championship with the best wishes of Jambos’ sporting director Joe Savage.

Savage confirmed Football development manager Naismith would combine his existing role with leading the under-18s until the end of the season after also spending time as an assistant to Rankin since hanging his boots up in the summer.

“As much as we would’ve liked to have kept John, he felt the opportunity to take the next step in his coaching journey was something he couldn’t turn down,” Savage said.

“He goes with our best wishes and thanks for all of his efforts over the past three-and-a-half years.

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“We have, in Steven, someone who is vastly experienced and more than capable of leading our under-18s for the remainder of the campaign.

“He is someone that our young players look up to, such is his playing pedigree, and I’m very confident that he will be able to continue the great work that has been done in developing them for the future.”

Rankin’s move to Hamilton fills the hole left at Accies by the departure of Guillaume Beuzelin after seven years at New Douglas Park.

The Frenchman remained at the club after Brian Rice resigned as manager earlier this season before announcing his own departure last month as he seeks a new challenge.

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