Malky Mackay leaves SFA Performance Director role, believes 'significant progress' made during tenure
The former Celtic and Queen’s Park defender was a controversial appointment to Hampden, following a managerial career in England at clubs including Wigan Athletic, Watford and Cardiff City.
Citing the conclusion of several qualification campaigns, the 48-year-old said “it feels like the right time” to leave his role.
Mackay took up the post which seeks to improve elite talent development across the game in 2016. Explaining the successes of his time in post, he added: “We’ve seen more players reared in Performance Schools breaking into first teams north and south of the border and playing with distinction. We have also enjoyed strong relationships with our member clubs.
“At various age levels our National Youth Teams have consistently recorded excellent results against countries such as Brazil, Spain and France with a consistent style of play which I firmly believe will equip us to compete against our European counterparts more readily and give our players the platform to become top internationals of the future.
“Our Talent ID player database stretches further than it ever has and our dedicated team of staff continue to scour the UK and beyond for Scottish talent to broaden the pool of players available to our national coaches.
“Together, I believe significant progress has been made during my tenure. Collaboration at its best is a powerful force for good in the Scottish game. One such example being the Pride Labs, which our club coaches have really embraced and come together to share best practice."
Mackay was also drafted in at short notice as interim Scotland manager following the departure of Gordon Strachan and before Alex McLeish’s second spell in the national hotseat He added: “I would like to acknowledge the support I’ve had from my colleagues at the Scottish FA, to those at the clubs for their year-on-year co-operation and in particular to our talented team within the Performance Department for their passion, hard work and dedication.
“Last year, we came together as a nation to support Shelley Kerr and her staff as they led Scotland to its first FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals, in France - another ground-breaking experience I thoroughly enjoyed supporting and being a part of.
“It was also a great pleasure to be asked by the board to step in as interim manager for our national men’s international – an honour I’d like to thank them for and a memory I will cherish forever.
“I care deeply about the Scottish game and about the role the Scottish FA plays in leading and nurturing it. We have some of the most passionate, knowledgeable and committed coaches around and it’s no real surprise to me that a new generation of confident, brave and technical players are now emerging.”
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive paid tribute: “Malky has implemented a best practice framework that has strengthened our national teams and reinforced relationships between clubs, Performance Schools and Club Academy Scotland.
“I would like to thank Malky - as a colleague, friend and former team-mate - for his considerable contribution and commitment to the performance strategy and wish him every success for the future.”
The SFA is currently undertaking an organisational review with reports of 18 positions at risk of redundancy.