Mike: I'm happy Paul is a target for Hearts
Published 14 Jun 2012 08:00 0 Comments
ALLOA chairman Mike Mulraney is not fazed by recent speculation linking manager Paul Hartley with the vacant job at his former club Hearts and in fact is delighted by the praise and recognition his manager is currently receiving throughout Scottish football.
Mulraney told Advertiser Sport, "I know it is a bit of a strange stance to take but we would rather everybody was talking about Paul for all the top jobs because it tells you what a top job he is doing at Alloa.
"As far as we are concerned the speculation is a reflection on the outstanding season he had last year but he is contracted to us and he is our manager for the next two years and that is how we are viewing it."
Mulraney is all too aware that someone of Hartley's calibre would eventually attract the bigger clubs but for now he expects his manager to be in place for the start of the new season as Wasps boss.
He added, "Long may it continue that everyone is looking at him, the season we had last year showed to us and to Paul that there is no doubt he can be a top manager one day and I have no doubt that will happen for him.
"There has been no official approach, it is absolutely all speculation at the moment. It is understandable, Paul had a great season with us, he is a former Hearts player and was a real fan favourite but at this point in time as far as I'm concerned he will be leading us next year for another crack at the Second Division."
Hartley, who refused to be drawn on the issue - "I am not thinking about it at the moment, I am solely focused on my job here at Alloa." - is now joint favourite in the betting with fellow ex-Hearts team mate Steven Pressley.
Alloa captain Darren Young also understands why his manager is being linked with the Hearts job and believes he would be the right appointment.
The former Aberdeen and Dunfermline midfield star insists Hearts fans would be delighted if he took over from Paulo Sergio but he would be a real loss for the Wasps.
Young reckons Hartley would have no problem making the big step up because he already runs Alloa like a full-time club.
Young said, "I am not surprised that Paul is being linked with the Hearts job. He has only been with Alloa for one season and is already a winner with the Third Division trophy which shows what he is all about.
"If the opportunity at Hearts is there I think, like most people, he would probably jump at it. It would be a chance for him to manage one of the biggest teams in the Premier League which might never come back round for him.
"Paul was a winner as a player and he's taken that into the management side. He's ambitious and has done exceptionally well in his first season as a manager with Alloa.
"We might be a part-time club but we are run like a full-time outfit. It's all very professional and a lot of that is down to the gaffer. A big reason behind the players who have come to Alloa is Paul and I don't think he would have any problem making the transition to Hearts.
"He is another Hearts legend and the fans would be happy if he landed the job, it's the same with Colin Cameron and Steven Pressley, two other ex Hearts players who have also been linked. Of course, no-one at Alloa wants to lose Paul because he has done so well alongside Paddy Connolly."
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 13 Jun 12
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