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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
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 children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on