The Scottish FA is pleased to announce that Ricky Sbragia has been appointed as the new Scotland Under-21 head coach.
Ricky has been elevated from his previous role as coach of the under-19 squad and will be assisted by the vastly experienced former Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian coach, Donald Park, who will also continue his role as Head of Coach Education at the Scottish FA.
Scotland open their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification campaign away to Northern Ireland on 5th September before hosting France and Iceland at Pittodrie Stadium in a home double-header on 10th and 13th October (ticket information and kick-off times to be announced).
“I am very proud to have been offered the position of Scotland Under-21 head coach,” said Ricky, the 59-year-old whose coaching career has spanned roles at Manchester United (reserve-team coach), Bolton Wanderers (first-team coach) and Sunderland (youth, reserve and first-team coach).
“I am acutely aware of the importance of the job in what for many young professionals should be the final stage before entering the full international team.
“The primary responsibility is to help prepare players to make that leap to Gordon Strachan’s A squad but it is also important that we work hard to ensure we are ready to make an impact in the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers which start in September.
“With the help and support of our senior clubs, it is my ambition to help our most talented young players excel at the highest level of international age-group football which, in turn, can only aid their development at their respective clubs.”
Scot Gemmill, who led the under-17 squad to unprecedented back-to-back European Championship finals, will take charge of the under-19 squad for their forthcoming qualifying campaign which begins in November.
They will begin their preparations for this year’s competition with two friendly matches in Bulgaria on 2nd and 4th September.
Both Ricky and Scot will assume responsibility for the under-17 squad for their upcoming friendly matches against Romania on 25th and 27th August with more information to be announced in due course.
The appointments are the first announcement of new Performance Director Brian McClair since joining from Manchester United. Having worked with Ricky at Old Trafford he believes his experience of nurturing talent will be vital to the execution of the wider Performance Strategy.
Brian said: “Ricky has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience at the highest levels of coaching and the under-21s will now benefit greatly from that.

“I am also pleased to confirm Scot as the coach of our under-19 squad after two excellent European Championship campaigns which saw us reach successive finals.
“It is important that as well as being an educational experience for our country’s most talented young players, it should also be an enjoyable and enriching experience for them as people, too.
“I believe there should be a fluidity to our coaching structure, so that our young players can become familiar with the values and principles that we live by from the youngest age group to the senior national team as they make their football journey.
“Having set out to speak to as many people in the game as possible during my first weeks in the job, I have been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and sense of common purpose shared by our member clubs to make the national game better. I am confident that today’s appointments will be a positive step in that direction.”