MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 21:52:39

Ricky Sbragia appointed Scotland Under-21s head coach

Former Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia is appointed head coach of the Scotland Under-21s.

The Scottish Football Association has announced that Ricky Sbragia has been appointed as the new head coach of the Scotland Under-21s.

The former Sunderland boss, who has been promoted from his previous role of managing the Under-19 squad, will be assisted by ex-Hibernian and Hearts coach Donald Park.

Sbragia, who has also coached at Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers during his career, will lead his new side through the qualification for the 2017 European Under-21 Championship.

"I am very proud to have been offered the position of Scotland Under-21 head coach," the 59-year-old told the SFA's official website. "I am acutely aware of the importance of the job in what for many young professionals should be the final stage before entering the full international team.

"The primary responsibility is to help prepare players to make that leap to Gordon Strachan's A squad but it is also important that we work hard to ensure we are ready to make an impact in the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers which start in September.

"With the help and support of our senior clubs, it is my ambition to help our most talented young players excel at the highest level of international age-group football which, in turn, can only aid their development at their respective clubs."

Scotland Under-21s begin their European Championship qualifiers away to Northern Ireland on September 5.


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