Mariners’ A-Leagues-winning coach reportedly one of five in frame for Hibernian job

Central Coast Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery is on a five-man shortlist to become the next Hibernian manager, according to reports in the English media.

Hibs have received permission from the A-League Men champions to hold talks with the 42-year-old former Scotland Under-21 international after Socceroos boss Graham Arnold revealed he turned down the role.

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But suggestions that Montgomery has already been selected as Lee Johnson’s successor are premature, says the Press Association.

Hibs have spoken to two candidates and plan talks with three more this week, including Montgomery – who could link up with Australian trio Martin Boyle, Jimmy Jeggo and Lewis Miller.

Former Hibs manager Neil Lennon has been among the favourites for the role and had declared himself open to discussions.

Leeds-born Montgomery initially moved to Mariners as a player in 2012 after making almost 400 appearances for Sheffield United.

He has been captain, assistant coach, youth coach and head of football at the club before taking over as head coach in August 2021.

Montgomery led Mariners to their second A-League Grand Final success with the help of a hat-trick from former Hibs striker Jason Cummings in a 6-1 triumph over Melbourne City in June. 

Johnson lost his job after Hibs lost their opening three Premiership games and suffered a 5-0 home defeat against Aston Villa in the Europa Conference League play-offs.

Former skipper David Gray led the club to a 2-0 league win at Aberdeen on Sunday in his third spell as caretaker manager.