Former Southampton manager joins SFA

Mark Wotte made qualification for the next World Cup a key target after being appointed as the Scottish Football Association's first performance director.

The 50-year-old Dutchman will be in charge of overseeing elite player development at every level, helping to ensure the nation's top talent can flourish and progress into the national team.



Wotte, who is best known in Britain for a brief spell with Southampton a couple of years ago but also has extensive coaching experience in his native Holland, warned against expecting immediate results from his appointment to the newly-created post.



But he highlighted Brazil 2014 as a useful barometer of what progress the set-up is making.



He said: "I think 2014 will be a massive point to see whether we achieve something, but in football you can do a very good job and not qualify.



"It all depends on other circumstances.



"In football, one and one is not always two. So you can do a lot of improvements in the football pyramid, but at the end of the day qualification for Brazil 2014 would be fantastic.



"Maybe to play a World Cup final is not something to be achieved in one or two years, but you have to start and maybe in three, five, seven, eight...



"In Holland in 2001, we didn't qualify for a World Cup, but then nine years later, we played a World Cup final. Something in between happened.



"I think there is always talent everywhere in the world.



"But you have to identify this talent and you have to work with this talent and get them in an environment that is healthy for these young boys to grow as a player without thinking of anything else.



"I think this is going to be a long-term job. Every time people talk about youth development, they want to see results tomorrow. This is not possible."



Wotte left a job in Egypt as coach of top-flight club Ismaily to take up the post with the SFA.



His appointment was the culmination of extensive research from the body after the role was a key recommendation in Henry McLeish's review of Scottish football.



Among Wotte's credentials are a spell as technical director of Feyenoord and a stint in charge of the Holland Under-21s, and he will attempt to bring some aspects of the Dutch system into the Scottish game.



He said: "In Holland we know everything about football players from eight, nine, 10 years old.



"Even on the national level - under 13, under 14 - everything is monitored. We know about under-13 football very well.



"We have elite training sessions in Holland starting from the age of 12 to bring the best against the best.



"I was told this is not the case in Scotland so this is one of the issues it's my responsibility to put this in place."



But he added: "We need to implement this in the Scottish way. You can't take the blueprint out of Holland and put it in Scotland.



"We (Holland) are also a small country. We are number two on the FIFA ranking list, but with similar infrastructure, but maybe more knowledge about how to develop world-class players.



"Everything I know from my country I will try to bring it to Scotland."



Scotland boss Craig Levein is excited about the opportunity to develop better youth systems in the country.



He said: "Mark's job is to bring players through so eventually those players will be playing in the national team.



"So there has to be a link between myself and Mark at that point. I'll do everything I can to help him.



"Its about elite development. The players that play in the national team are the elite players in the country.



"Mark's job will be to develop players to play in the national team. So we will have to communicate about who is ready to step into the national team.



"We don't have anywhere near the amount of scouts required in the younger age group to discover who are the best talent in Scotland under 12.



"So these things are things that have to be developed to put a strategy in place."



SFA chief executive Stewart Regan was keen to express the importance of Wotte's appointment to the future of the game in Scotland.



He said: "This is the key appointment that could turn around Scottish football. We are building for the future.



"The appointment of a performance director was the single most important recommendation in the Henry McLeish review of Scottish football.



"The remit is to take Scottish football from good to great once again."

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick