The Scottish FA has announced the appointment of Andy Gould as the governing body’s new chief football officer.
Gould, previously the organisation’s head of football development, takes on the newly created post and will have responsibility for the grassroots football, coach education and elite player development, among other areas.
He will also be tasked with overseeing and implementing a performance strategy for the game at the top level, and with ensuring that players are developed to a stage where they can compete for Scotland in international competition.
The appointment comes after Malky Mackay left his position as performance director at Hampden, which held a number of responsibilities covered by the new role.
Gould joined the Scottish FA in 2005 and has worked on the grassroots game, on player and coach development and has assisted the national youth teams up to under-21 level.
He said: “Having worked in the development of Scottish football for more than 25 years across all levels, I’m fully conscious of the responsibility that comes with this role in order to capitalise on the opportunities that await Scottish football.
“There are some particularly exciting areas that I look forward to progressing, including the continued growth of the girls’ and women’s game, the opportunity to harness and build on the inspiration of our men’s national team through their participation at EURO 2020 this summer and the opportunity to provide even greater support to our network of clubs across the country.
“There are fantastic staff working across the development of the game at association level and in our clubs and my intention is to build on those relationships further.
“The immediate priority will be to continue to support our game through this pandemic and put our energies into ensuring people can return to the pitch safely by working with and helping our clubs and coaches at all levels to achieve this.
“We’ve seen during these challenging times the passion, commitment and creative approach people have in our game. I aim to harness this energy to help establish plans, programmes and ways of working, which can ultimately see us use the power of football to inspire more people to play the game and to support those with potential and ambition to reach the very top.”
Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “Andy brings with him a wealth of experience to the role in both grassroots and elite level football and was the outstanding choice to spearhead the development of these key areas.
“In reviewing our operation we identified that we wanted to create greater synergy between our football development and performance areas, with so much of their work overlapping.
“In these uncertain times, grassroots football and the professional game have vital roles to play in delivering invaluable mental and physical well-being benefits and entertainment. Andy’s experience will be a tremendous benefit as we strive to get as many people as possible participating in Scottish football and developing our elite talent to compete on the international stage.”