Dual role sees Robertson returning to coach Dundee

COLIN Robertson has returned to Dundee to take over as head coach from Ian Rankin but will continue as a high performance manager with the sportscotland Institute of Sport.

One of Scotland’s most experienced youth coaches, Robertson is originally from Galashiels and played centre for Gala in the 1980s before starting work as a development officer with the SRU in Aberdeen. He worked with Dundee during that period, leading the team, along with Tom Dymock, to promotion to Premier One for the first time. He also helped coach Aberdeen Grammar FP to Division One in a six-year involvement with the north east club.

Robertson, now 47, left the SRU for the Institute of Sport in 2008 but has continued to coach national age-grade teams from under-17 to under-20 level as well as academy sides.

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He is a member of the current SRU-identified High Performance Coach Programme and is the serving under-17 coach and sportscotland Institute of Sport Network Manager/High Performance Manager.

Dundee HSFP President, Gerry Tosh, said: “I am delighted to welcome Colin back to Mayfield on behalf of the club and feel sure we have the right man to lead us to great things in the ‘post-Rankin’ era.

“‘Ranks’ has been an exceptional servant of the club for a decade and I am confident that Colin will be able to build on that success. We are looking forward to working closely with him.” Robertson said: “I am delighted to have been appointed Head Coach of Dundee HSFP. I helped coach the team back in the 1990s and I have gained a fair bit of experience since then.

“I look forward to working with all the players, current and new, to build on what has been a tremendous few years under Ian Rankin, for whom I have great respect. I know quite a few of the players from various national squads and national academy work and, hopefully, that knowledge will come in useful.

“Dundee are one of the top clubs in Scotland, and got very close to winning the title last year, so our standards will remain high, both in preparation and work ethic.”

Robertson will be assisted by long-serving front row and forwards’ specialist JJ van der Esch and strength and conditioning expert Steve McMullan. He does not yet know which league he will be coaching in, however.

Whether he will take charge of a Premiership club or a National League one will be determined on Saturday as the Taysiders face Hawick, who finished second in the National League, in a new play-off at the neutral venue of Meggetland to decide who takes the last place in next season’s Premier One.

It will be Rankin’s last game in charge.