Derek McInnes pens new Kilmarnock deal as Rugby Park boss opens up on decision to extend until 2027

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group
Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes -Credit:Sammy Turner/SNS Group

Derek McInnes says he bounces into work every day smiling after signing a new deal at Kilmarnock.

The Rugby Park boss has penned an extension to his current contract until 2027 after a brilliant campaign in Ayrshire. McInnes’ outstanding work has seen Killie qualify for Europe next season after a superb fourth-placed finish in the Premiership. Having taken over in January 2022 when the club were in the Championship, the 52-year-old has brought continued rise to the club.

McInnes had been touted as a strong candidate for the vacant Hibs role after the sacking of Nick Montgomery last week. But Killie chiefs wasted no time in rewarding their manager for his achievements and the boss is loving every minute of his term. McInnes said: “Kilmarnock is a fantastic place to work and I enjoy it every single day. I come bouncing into work with a smile on my face, everyone here is so supportive from the backroom staff up to the board. The reward from this season comes with the European games, which is our next proper game and we’ll look forward to that. The demand will change next season, so I’ll enjoy it just now because I know I’ll not get to enjoy it for too long!”

Phyllis Carroll, Managing Director of Kilmarnock Football Club, is delighted that McInnes has extended a contract which was due to expire in 2026. She said: “Derek’s commitment to the club provides the foundation and stability required to implement long-term plans that will positively impact our team standing and strengthen youth pathways, a perfect example of this is the introduction of David Watson to the first team who has since worn the captain’s armband.

“We also announced earlier this week that another five youth players have signed their first professional contracts. This is important for the club’s future. It’s important that we establish a long-term strategy for the club, to ensure that we continue to improve on and off the park. Derek is a vital part of our projected growth and with his guidance we believe that, in time, we’ll have built a much stronger Kilmarnock for our supporters and the next generation of Killie fans.”

McInnes, named SFWA Manager of the Year, is working on squad building for next term with Jack Sanders, Kerr McInroy, Steven Warnock and Aaron Quigg departing. Will Dennis, Corrie Ndaba, Stuart Findlay, Tom Davies, James Balagizi, Kevin Van Veen have returned to their clubs after loans, while Liam Polworth, Marley Watkins, Gary Mackay-Steven, Greg Stewart, Innes Cameron and Kieran O’Hara are still in talks over new deals.

McInnes, who has also indicated he’d like to strike new arrangements for Findlay, Nbada and Dennis in the summer, said: “It’s that time of the year where you’re trying to free up some space in the squad, on reflection there’s lads that have left that have been here a long time. We wish them well in the future and thank them for everything they’ve done at this club.”