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SFA's 'unanimous' choice

McLeish back at Hampden as national coach

Alex McLeish

Alex McLeish: return to role he held 11 years ago (pic: SNS Group)

Alex McLeish has been appointed Scotland’s national football coach, 11 years after leaving the post.

The 59-year-old has signed a two-year deal, taking in the next European nations tournament.

He replaces his former Aberdeen and Scotland team-mate Gordon Strachan, who left in October after narrowly failing to qualify for the World Cup.

McLeish,  former Aberdeen skipper and Rangers manager, was the unanimous choice of the SFA board after Michael O’Neill chose to stay in charge of Northern Ireland.

Walter Smith, another former Rangers coach, was also linked with the role but ruled himself out of a return to the job he held for three years.

McLeish, who won 77 caps, will take charge at Hampden in time for  friendly games against Costa Rica and Hungary next month. These will be followed by two controversial games in Peru and Mexico in June which were negotiated by the SFA’s now-departed CEO Stewart Regan.

The first competitive games for the new manager will be the Uefa Nations League encounters against Albania at home on 10 September, then in Israel on 11 October.

His big task will be to break Scotland’s 20-year wait for qualification for a major finals.


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