Scotland: Mark Wotte quits as SFA performance director

Mark Wotte
Mark Wotte was appointed in 2011 to implement a performance strategy that followed Henry McLeish's report

Mark Wotte is leaving the Scottish FA saying that he has implemented the plan put in place for the parent body's first performance director.

The 53-year-old former Southampton manager was appointed in June 2011 to implement its "Performance Strategy".

And the SFA says the Dutchman "has decided to move on from his position".

Wotte insisted: "I have absolutely loved my time in Scotland and I leave safe in the knowledge that this great football nation is on the rise again."

Mark Wotte
"My job was to implement the strategy to move Scottish football forward: clearly the structure is now fully in place and Scottish football will continue to see the benefits in coming years."

His appointment came in the wake of the Henry McLeish Review of Scottish Football, which recommended sweeping changes to the domestic structure.

But his outspoken comments and the creation of the Scottish Professional Football League Under-20 League have at times brought him into conflict with domestic clubs and managers.

Seven regional performance schools, involving more than 300 of the country's most talented boys and girls, have been set up throughout Scotland during Wotte's tenure.

He believes that this, among other changes, have brought quick results and he praised the input of national team managers Gordon Strachan and Anna Signeul for the progress shown at international level.

"I feel I have completed the tasks I was set and I am delighted with the swift progress, but I am really looking forward to a new challenge," said Wotte.

"I am proud to have been the Scottish FA's first performance director leading this nationwide project.

"With the performance schools now into their third year, the successes in qualification for finals by our national youth teams and, of course, the great work by Gordon Strachan and Anna Signeul in the men's and women's A squads, I am confident that Scottish football is on the path to success again.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan
"In just over three years, we have already seen signs of great progress and I would reiterate my thanks to Mark for providing such a solid foundation on which to build future success for Scottish football."

"However, my job was to implement the strategy to move Scottish football forward: clearly the structure is now fully in place and Scottish football will continue to see the benefits in coming years."

The SFA stressed that Wotte has also overseen national youth team success.

The men's under-17 side reached the semi-finals of the Uefa European Championships, the under-16s won the Sky Sports Victory Shield and the women's under-17 and under-19 teams reaching the European Championship finals.

Wotte was also integral in the restructuring of Club Academy Scotland and the promotion of youth development into first-team football through the creation of the SPFL Under-20 League, added the SFA in a statement.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan added: "On behalf of the board and staff at the Scottish FA, I would like to thank Mark for taking the performance strategy from an ambitious goal in the early days of our strategic plan, Scotland United: A 2020 Vision, to an exciting reality.

"In just over three years, we have already seen signs of great progress and I would reiterate my thanks to Mark for providing such a solid foundation on which to build future success for Scottish football."

The SFA has not indicated whether it will be seeking a replacement for the Dutchman who was also head coach of Den Haag, Utrecht, Willem II, Al Ahli, Universitatea Craiova and Netherlands Under-21s.

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