SCOT Gemmill, the current Scotland Under-21 manager, has emerged as serious contender for the vacancy with the national team, writes Matthew Lindsay.

Gemmill, the former Nottingham Forest and Everton player who won 26 caps for his country, has impressed the Scottish Football Association (SFA) during his work with the under-17 and under-21 sides during the past four years.

He has been mentioned as a possible successor to Gordon Strachan, whose contract wasn’t renewed after he failed to secure a Russia 2018 play-off place in October, by the SFA sub-committee which has been set up to identify a new head coach.

The 47-year-old’s chances of being promoted increased last week when Michael O’Neill, the SFA’s preferred candidate, decided to remain with Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the UEFA Nations League draw in Lausanne, Switzerland, last week, SFA chief executive Stewart Regan spoke highly of Gemmill’s abilities and admitted the merits of appointing him would be debated.

“He’s a really talented coach,” said Regan. “He’s emerged from the under-17s not that long ago and he’s midway through a campaign with the under-21s. His name’s been mentioned and I’m sure it’ll be discussed by the sub-committee.”

Regan also suggested in midweek that the SFA could follow the lead of the other three Home Nations and bring in a younger manager and Gemmill, the son of Scotland great Archie, fits that profile.

“It’s not just a job now for managers at the end of their career,” he said. “There is a lot of young managers coming in and making an impact.

“Chris Coleman being one in recent times, obviously Michael O’Neill is another and now Ryan Giggs down at Wales and Gareth Southgate with England. It is a job that is appealing to a younger up-and-coming manager.”

Regan also stressed the need for the new Scotland manager to work together with Performance Director Malky Mackay, the age-group squads and at the Scottish Sports Performance Centre at Oriam.

“It’s about finding someone who can fit in Scotland, who’s prepared to put the hard yards in, getting around games in Scotland, England and overseas where we have Scottish players playing,” he said.

“He also has to work with our other squads and with Malky Mackay in joining the A squad to the performance strategy, so there’s a seamless pipeline. That involves utilising the analysis and sports science functions within Oriam and introducing some innovation in how we approach the job.”