Valencia: Assistant manager Ian Cathro exits La Liga club

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland
Ian Cathro
Cathro helped Valencia reach the Champions League

Scotsman Ian Cathro has left his role as assistant manager at Spanish top-flight club Valencia.

The 28-year-old decided during the season to stand down in the summer for family reasons.

He has returned to his native Dundee after helping guide Valencia to fourth place in La Liga.

Cathro has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Rangers but is not currently considering offers from any clubs.

It ends a three-year association with Valencia manager Nuno Espírito Santo, the two men having previously worked together at Rio Ave.

"I would like to thank Nuno Espirito Santo for the opportunity to work with him in the top leagues in Portugal and Spain," said Cathro, who will continue his coaching career while looking to move into management.

"It has been a unique and hugely rewarding experience for an ambitious Scottish coach.

Nuno Espirito Santo and Ian Cathro in the Valencia dug-out
Nuno Espirito Santo and Ian Cathro have worked together for three years

"I wish Valencia the success they deserve. I had an amazing time with a great club in a fantastic city.

"This was a very difficult decision to take and was agreed some time ago."

Cathro has enjoyed a meteoric rise in football. After an injury-curtailed spell playing youth football, he set up a coaching school while he was still in his teens.

His skills and vision-based approach to developing players impressed Craig Levein enough for the Dundee United manager to take him as well as some of the players to Tannadice.

Following Cathro's spell working for the Scottish FA's regional coaching set-up, Santo appointed him as his assistant at Rio Ave, having met Cathro while both were working on their coaching qualifications under the SFA.

The pair guided Rio Ave to a sixth-place league finish, two cup finals and European qualification for the first time.

In their first season at Valencia, they met the owner's ambition to return the Spanish club to the Champions League.

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