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Strathspey Thistle appoint new assistant manager on two-year deal

By Niall Harkiss

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Mark Holmes has rolled out his football academies to as far as Africa.
Mark Holmes has rolled out his football academies to as far as Africa.

Jags boss Charlie Brown has appointed Mark Holmes as his number two for the forthcoming season, filling the void left by Steven Rattray, who quit as assistant manager of Thistle earlier this month to take the reigns at Dufftown.

Holmes, whose former clubs include Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Nairn County and Forres Mechanics, will join the club for an initial two seasons.

The coach is currently working towards his Scottish FA C Licence, having previously coached with Caley Thistle and Ross County.

Brown said: “When Steven confirmed he was taking another role, I approached a couple of people about coming in and after a meeting with Mark, it just felt right that he was offered the job.

“Having played with Mark at Forres, I knew the passion he has for football and I felt he would be perfect for our set up.”

Forced to retire at age 26 due to injuries suffered in a car accident, Holmes quickly moved into coaching, taking up roles at clubs in the Highlands and in Australia during several spells down under.

In 2017, he set up the self-titled Mark Holmes Football Academy. Based in Inverness, his academy now operates coaching branches in Aviemore, Beauly, Invergordon and Africa.

With more than 1200 children developing their skills through his academy, football coaching has been his calling.

But the new Jags assistant has no concerns about balancing his academy commitments with his new role at Seafield Park.

“Football is my passion, so for me it all comes naturally. The timetable fits in perfectly for me as the academy doesn’t train on a Saturday and training sessions fit in really well too.

“Me and Charlie go way back to when we played together. We have maintained that bond and friendship together, so I was delighted to accept his offer to come in.

“The club has got ambition and a vision for the future and it’s something I am excited to be involved with, this season and beyond that.”

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