Steve Clarke confirmed as the next manager of Scotland
Steve Clarke has been appointed as the next manager of Scotland, the SFA have confirmed.
It was revealed late last week that the Kilmarnock boss was the favourite to replace Alex McLeish and the news has been confirmed one day after his final match in charge of the Ayrshire side as they defeated Rangers to finish third in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The 55-year-old has agreed to a three-year contract that will take him up to the end of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign for the tournament in Qatar.
He’ll also be tasked with ending Scotland’s 22-year wait for an appearance at a major international tournament as the national team looks to bounce back from the opening match defeat to Kazakhstan to qualify for Euro 2020.
If Scotland fail to qualify from their group, there is the fall back option of the Uefa Nations League play-offs.
Clarke joins the national team after 19 highly successful months at Rugby Park, where he led Killie from bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership to third place in the table, their highest finish since 1966.
He said in a SFA statement: “It is an honour to be appointed Scotland National Head Coach and I will undertake those responsibilities with pride and commitment.
“I firmly believe we have a talented group of players who can achieve success on the international stage. I look forward to working with them and helping them to fulfil those ambitions.
“I appreciate the Scotland supporters have waited a long time for the national team to qualify for a major tournament. Now we have a Women’s World Cup to look forward to in France this summer and it’s my motivation to emulate the success of Shelley Kerr and her squad by leading us to EURO 2020.
“I believe we can qualify and look forward to that journey with the players and the fans, starting against Cyprus and Belgium next month.”
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive added: “Steve’s pedigree as a coach and manager of the highest regard set him apart in a high-calibre group of candidates. This season’s achievements simply reaffirm the credentials we believe will be of huge benefit to the Scotland National Team.
“I am delighted that we now have the country’s deserved Manager of the Year to lead the Scotland National Team and his experience over the past two decades will be integral to rejuvenating our Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, which resumes next month.
“It was important that we undertook the recruitment process diligently and respectfully, especially given the importance of the final games of the domestic season for Kilmarnock, Steve and his players.
“I would like to thank the Kilmarnock owner, Billy Bowie, and the club in general for their professionalism throughout the recruitment process.”