Dundee United appoint Thomas Courts as head coach

Courts took charge of one game last season, a 2-0 defeat by Livingston in December
Courts took charge of one game last season, a 2-0 defeat by Livingston in December

Dundee United have confirmed Thomas Courts as their new head coach, replacing Micky Mellon after his departure at the end of the season.

Courts, 39, has been promoted from his role as head of tactical performance at Tannadice.

He was previously the manager at Kelty Hearts for five seasons, and joined United in February last year.

“I feel really excited and privileged to be taking charge at Dundee United,” Courts said.

“When I got the offer to speak to the club I was optimistic because I felt I was ready for the challenge.”

Courts will be assisted by Liam Fox, who joins having held the same role at fellow Scottish Premiership side Livingston.

United did not specify the length of Courts’ contract.

The club were forced to release a statement at the end of last month saying a new head coach would only be appointed “after a careful recruitment process involving several exciting candidates” following a newspaper report that Courts had immediately been chosen as Mellon’s replacement.

That prompted The Federation of Dundee United Supporters’ Clubs to write to the club’s board asking for clarification.

“I’ve got 300 games under my belt as a manager,” Courts added.

“The fans are getting an experienced manager, one who has a proven capability of winning, developing players and also being open and receptive to giving opportunities to young players as well.

“This is where I want to be, the calibre of player I want to work with on a day-to-day basis and this is the stature of club I feel I can propel myself into and drive the club to the next level.”

Courts, a former Cowdenbeath and East Fife defender, became manager of Kelty Hearts at the age of 32 and steered the West Fife club to the East Region Super League then East of Scotland titles and promotion to the Lowland League after they moved into the senior ranks.

He took charge of one league game against Livingston earlier this season, with Mellon – who guided the club to a ninth-placed finish on their top-flight return- forced to isolate due to a positive Covid-19 test from a member of staff.

“I believe he is an excellent appointment with a tremendous skill-set that can only enhance what we have already in place,” said sporting director Tony Asghar.