Steve Clarke has become the latest in a long line of Scottish born managers to try and lead the Tartan Army back to a major international final, been unveiled as the new Scotland head coach this week.
The appointment was announced on Monday, with the former Kilmarnock boss signing a three-year contract, and chief executive of the Scottish FA Ian Maxwell was delighted to secure Clarke’s services.
Speaking at a press conference, Maxwell said:
‘On behalf of the board on the Scottish FA, I am delighted to welcome Steve Clarke as our new national team head coach.
‘Over last few weeks, the board and myself have conducted a diligent and robust process with a number of high-quality candidates. Through each stage of this process, Steve jumped out as the outstanding candidate.’
Maxwell added: ‘I think the job he has done at Kilmarnock, taking them from the position they were in when they took over to a top-six finish last season, was incredible and to surpass that with a third-placed finish and European football with a record number of points is an outstanding achievement.
‘I would like to thank Kilmarnock for the way they have handled this process, it can’t be easy for them to lose a manager who has achieved success in such a short space of time, but we are absolutely delighted to have Steve’s services and look forward to the rest of the qualifying campaign and the future.’
Clarke takes the job after a magnificent season with Kilmarnock, leading them to a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership.
Scotland are second bottom in Group I of Euro 2020 qualifying with three points from their first two games as they bid to qualify for their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.
The new national team boss intends to get stuck in straight away and ditch any thoughts of a post-season break until after the summer Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Belgium.
Clarke described becoming Scotland head coach as the ‘pinnacle’ of his career.
He said: ‘I am absolutely humbled and honoured to be in charge of the national team. I played for Scotland but to manage Scotland is probably the pinnacle.
‘I wouldn’t be without the time I had with Kilmarnock. It was an unbelievable 18 months I had there with great success. Again, I want to thank Kilmarnock for everything they gave me to make this opportunity possible.
‘But now it’s a new chapter, a new challenge. And anybody who knows me knows that I like a challenge. I like to challenge myself. If I was a lazy person I would still be at Chelsea in the assistant manager’s seat.
‘This is a big challenge and I’m looking forward to the challenge.’