The Scottish FA has announced Brian McClair as their new Performance Director.
The 51-year-old joins the SFA after an illustrious 25-year career at Manchester United, where he served as a player, youth coach and, most recently, director of their respected youth academy.
The role, which officially begins on 1 June, gives McClair overall responsibility for implementing of the SFA's Performance Strategy, which forms a key part of their 2020 vision document, Scotland United.
“I am extremely proud to have been given the responsibility to help Scottish football move forward as Performance Director of the Scottish FA," said McClair.
“I am sure my experiences can be of benefit to Scottish football and, having spent the majority of the last 30 years in England with Manchester United, I am looking forward to coming home, working with the coaching team at the Scottish FA and the clubs, and sharing the knowledge I have built up in that time to take on this new, exciting challenge.”
McClair, who was the SFA's unanimous choice, will oversee the SFA's Regional Performance Schools, the elite player development programme which has already taken on 300 players since it launched in August 2012, all of whom have benefitted from individual skills development, sports science and nutrition, all incorporated into their educational curriculum.
Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive, said: “Brian has been at the cutting edge of coaching evolution, analysis and performance management at Manchester United and the recruitment panel were convinced he was the ideal person to lead the Performance Strategy into an exciting new era, enhancing the current provision while demonstrating the benefits of the investment so far to the future of Scottish football."
McClair's appointment received the support of Scotland captain Darren Fletcher - a former protégé of his at Manchester United - and Sir Alex Ferguson (see video below).
The former Manchester United manager said: “He came to see me and I said 'I think you should take it Brian, I think it’s a great challenge for you.'
"Going back to Scotland is a big change for him but he looked upon it by saying ‘I think I can do something here’ and I agreed with him I think you could too'.”
McClair made 471 appearances for Manchester United between 1987 and 1998, scoring 127 goals and winning four Premier League titles, one European Cup-winners’ Cup, European Super Cup, three FA Cups and one League Cup. He previously won a Scottish league championship and Scottish Cup with Celtic and scored 126 goals in 204 matches. He has 30 Scotland international caps.
Image courtesy of Scottish FA.