Sir Alex Ferguson had no hesitation when Brian McClair came to him and asked his old manager if he should accept the position of Scottish FA Performance Director.
He told is ex-Manchester United player and colleague “take the job” and now Sir Alex is confident McClair can help nurture the next generation of Scotland greats.
Speaking exclusively to the Scottish FA, 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 and I said, I think you could too.”
As Director of Manchester United’s renowned Youth Academy, McClair has brought through a number of talented youngsters. His new position will see him taking responsibility for all National Youth Team programmes and the implementation of the Scottish FA’s Performance Strategy.
As someone who aided the development of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferguson believes McClair will be striving to find players of a similar caliber for Scotland.
He said: “I’m Scottish through and through and I want to see Scotland developing young players
“Dave Mackay, who we had the terrible news about recently, Denis Law, Jimmy Johnstone, Kenny Dalglish, Jim Baxter, Graeme Souness - it would be lovely to see that coming back. The only way is to get a proper structure for developing young people and I’m sure Brian will do his very best to make sure that happens”
“For Gordon Strachan it's important he’s got something coming through. There’s nothing better than when I had those young players coming through to my team. With the Beckhams and the Giggsys, we were all excited.
“If you’ve got that structure and there is a flow coming through continually, then the full national team will benefit.”
Sir Alex retired as manager of Manchester United in 2013 winning 13 Premier League titles and 2 UEFA Champions League trophies.
Despite working in England for 26 years, his interest in Scottish football has never gone away and the manager who led Scotland at the 1986 World Cup is optimistic about the future of the game here.
“At the moment they have some very good young players in the Scotland set-up. They seem to have gathered quite a few midfield players who are more than capable and of course you see the progress of the national team.”
“If you have a flow of young people going into the game, to the likes of Aberdeen, Dundee United, Celtic, Rangers, Hibs and Hearts it only helps the national team.”