New Scottish football president wants win over Ireland as tribute to late CEO

New Scottish Football Association president Alan McRae says qualifying for Euro 2016 would be the perfect tribute to the late chief executive David Taylor.

New Scottish football president wants win over Ireland as tribute to late CEO

New Scottish Football Association president Alan McRae says qualifying for Euro 2016 would be the perfect tribute to the late chief executive David Taylor.

The former Cove Rangers chairman was chosen to replace Campbell Ogilvie at the governing body’s annual general meeting at Hampden.

His first official duty will be to lead the Scotland delegation to Dublin for Saturday’s Group D qualifier against the Republic of Ireland.

And now he has urged Gordon Strachan’s team to push on and claim a place at next year’s finals in France – as he wants to dedicate that feat to Taylor.

The former Hampden chief – who passed away last summer – played an instrumental role in having the tournament expanded to 24-teams while working as UEFA’s General Secretary.

Alan McRae.

McRae said: “I am honoured to have been elected president by the members of the Scottish FA and I extremely excited that the first official engagement will be such a massive qualifier.

“I believe we are good enough to get a positive result and given the results we have had under Gordon Strachan I believe we can qualify for European Championships.

“If we can, it would be a fitting tribute to the memory of the late David Taylor, who was such a prominent advocate for the expansion of the tournament. It would be fantastic if Scotland could take their place in France next summer.”

McRae’s new role will see him head up the SFA’s eight-man board while he will represent the governing body at FIFA and UEFA meetings.

He will also play a leading role in the recruitment process if chief executive Stewart Regan or Scotland boss Strachan need to be replaced.

A former Cove player who signed for the club in 1979, the construction firm owner eventually swapped the dressing room for the board room when he was appointed one of the Aberdeenshire outfit’s directors.

Within five years of taking charge of the Allan Park side, he had led the club from the amateur ranks to the Highland League.

As well as serving as the Highland League’s president, he has also been involved with the SFA since 1993.

He steps up to become SFA president after two spells as vice-president.

“I feel really proud and privileged – it has been a long and exciting journey,” McRae said.

“I started with Cove Rangers in the amateurs, moving them into juniors and then the Highland Football League over 30 years ago. Since joining the Scottish FA I’ve served on every one of the committees and boards, as well as working with UEFA, IFAB and FIFA.

“My association with the governing body extends to 23 years and it is a different world to the one I experienced when I played as a semi-professional footballer to where I am now. Once you get involved to want to be a success, as in any walk of life.

“I would like to focus on the development of young players, ensuring that talented boys and girls can become the Scotland stars of the future and to do that we need to provide more opportunities at grassroots and better facilities on which to play all year round.”

Rod Petrie, meanwhile, has been re-elected as vice-president.

Ogilvie, who served as Rangers secretary for 27 years before moving to Hearts in 2005 where he was appointed Operations Director, now steps down.

He replaced George Peat as SFA president in 2011 before presiding over the re-organisation Scotland’s league set-up in 2013.

The Scottish Football League and Scottish Premier League merged to form the Scottish Professional Football League.

A play-off system was introduced for the top-flight, while a pyramid set-up handed Highland League clubs and teams from the newly-formed Lowland League an opportunity to play their way into the senior ranks.

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