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Billy Stark quits as Scotland Under-21 coach

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Scotland U21 defeat Luxembourg U21 in Euro Qualifier.  © Phil McCloyThe Scottish FA has announced that Billy Stark has quit as head coach of the Scotland Under-21 side.

The 57-year-old took over the Under-21 side in January 2008 and led them to successive top two finishes in the European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.

After announcing his departure, Stark speaking to the official Scottish FA website, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the Scottish FA but feel now is the right time to move on. There is no greater honour in football than representing your country and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to do so as a coach.

“I’ve enjoyed some real highs over the years, especially winning our qualifying group and reaching the play-offs in 2010.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work with some excellent players during my time here and it’s great to see so many of them go on to make an impact with the full squad.

“I would like to thank the players and staff I’ve worked during my time at the Scottish FA, and wish them every success for the future.”

Stark, who has been touted as the next Motherwell manager following Stuart McCall’s departure, will be temporarily succeeded by Ricky Sbragia for the forthcoming friendly against Switzerland in two weeks time.

Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive, paying tribute to the outgoing Stark, added: “On behalf of everyone at the Scottish FA, I would like to thank Billy for his fantastic contribution to the Scotland national youth teams over the last six years.

“He has played a key role in the development of several Scotland A squad players during that time and has maintained a high level of consistency with the under-21 squads.

“During Billy’s time working with the under-21s, the team have risen from 41st to 17th in the UEFA co-efficient rankings.

“Billy has also played a key role in the development of the Performance Strategy and has helped lay the foundations for what will be a bright future for Scottish football. I would like to wish Billy all the best for the future.”

Stark’s departure follows hot on the heels of Scottish FA performance director Mark Wotte’s resignation.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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