Stark impresses SFA bosses

15 November 2012 06:17

Billy Stark "greatly impressed" the Scottish Football Association in securing his first victory as Scotland caretaker manager, chief executive Stewart Regan revealed.

The SFA have begun the process of recruiting a permanent replacement to Craig Levein after the main decision-makers met for talks before the 2-1 friendly win in Luxembourg.

In a statement, Regan said: "Firstly, on behalf of the board I would like to express my gratitude for the professional manner in which Billy Stark has undertaken the role of interim national coach. As well as providing a much-needed victory, Billy has impressed us greatly by the way he has conducted himself in the role."

Regan gave few details of the process other than to confirm a shortlist would be drawn up with the new manager scheduled to be in place in time to prepare for the World Cup qualifier against Wales at Hampden on March 22. Scotland have one friendly before then, against Estonia at Pittodrie on February 6, and Scotland Under-21 boss Stark will continue to act as head coach in the meantime.

Regan added: "The board is committed to confirming a permanent appointment in enough time to prepare for the next FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 qualifying match, against Wales at Hampden Park in March next year.

"In the meantime, we will work through a list of potential candidates and arrive at a short-list, from which we will establish a preferred candidate and, finally, appoint the new Scotland national coach.

"We will carry out this process as thoroughly and as efficiently as possible. We are committed to appointing the best Scotland national coach possible and will take the necessary time to achieve that objective. The current welter of media speculation and the number of interested parties highlight the attraction of the role of rejuvenating the fortunes of the national team."

Regan met with president Campbell Ogilvie and vice-presidents Rod Petrie, the Hibernian chairman, and Alan McRae, a former Cove Rangers chairman. They are joined on the board by Scottish Junior FA chairman Tom Johnston, Scottish Premier League chairman Ralph Topping and independent director Barrie Jackson.

Regan added: "I can assure the Scotland supporters the board of the Scottish FA are focused on appointing a national coach who can restore our respectability and status in the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and lead us to qualification for the UEFA European Championships in 2016."

Levein was removed from his position last Monday after a poor start to the qualifying programme left Scotland with two points from four matches. Former Scotland internationals Gordon Strachan and Joe Jordan are among the favourites to take over and both have intimated they would be interested.

Source: PA