In going for James McPake as their new boss, Dundee have appointed the youngest manager in Scottish football.
And he’ll be gathering his wits to line up against the most experienced manager in the game in his debut campaign – Dick Campbell.
It’s a gamble from the Dark Blues to go for a coach so young but they can take heart from the man whose mantle the new Dens gaffer has taken over in Stuart Kettlewell.
McPake is just 20 days younger than the Ross County co-manager – his colleague Steven Ferguson is 42 – and will celebrate his 35th birthday later this month.
The Staggies are currently gearing up for a season back in the Premiership after lifting the Championship crown and making it a double with the Challenge Cup, too, in the past season.
That sort of achievement in the second tier tells you age is no barrier but it’s clear from the vintages of most gaffers in Scotland that a coach’s mid-40s is where they begin to excel.
That, however, doesn’t cover the standard of Arbroath boss Campbell’s recent acheivements, dragging the Red Lichties up from League Two to now face both Dundee and Dundee United in the Championship.
A coaching career that’s spanned 32 years and counting, Campbell has managed over 800 matches since taking over at Cowdenbeath in 1987 before a gap to a swift in-and-out from the hotseat at Dunfermline in 1999 followed by five years in charge at Brechin City.
This campaign he’ll return to the second tier of Scottish football for the first time since 2007 and face a Dundee boss in the embryonic stage of his management career.
With just one first-team match as a manager behind him, McPake will no doubt hope he can emulate something of his Arbroath rival’s longevity.
Also on the younger end of the scale in the Championship is Gary Caldwell at Partick, Jim Goodwin at Alloa and Robbie Neilson over the road at Tannadice.
Caldwell, at 37, is heading into his first full season as a manager in Scotland after taking over at Firhill in October. He’s been a manager for four years now, though, after taking over at Wigan at the age of 33.
Alloa’s Goodwin is also 37 and was strongly linked with the Dee post last week.
The first fixtures looked for when they are announced later this month will be the Dundee derbies where two of the country’s youngest managers face off for the city’s bragging rights.
Now four years senior to McPake, Neilson took over at Hearts in May 2014 before leading them to the Championship title at the first time of asking the following year.
He then had a spell with MK Dons before returning north to take over at Dundee United.
The rest of their rivals in the second tier are Ayr boss Ian McCall (54), Stevie Crawford of Dunfermline (45), Morton’s David Hopkin (48), John Robertson at Inverness (54) and Queen of the South’s Allan Johnston (45).
Elsewhere across the country, the U/40 club includes Rangers’ Steven Gerrard (39), Airdrieonians’ Ian Murray (38), Stenhousemuir’s Colin McMenamin (38), Peter Murphy at Annan (38) and Kevin Rutkiewicz of Stirling Albion (39).
At the top end of our game, however, it’s clear experience is what clubs are after – not masses but the general age group spans from mid-40s to mid-50s.
Gerrard, Oran Kearney (40) at St Mirren and Hibs’ Paul Heckingbottom (41) buck the trend but the rest all fit in that threshold with Tommy Wright the eldest at 55 and Brian Rice close behind him on the same age.
Overall, at the top it’s a young man’s game – James McPake being the youngest of the lot, we’ll have to wait to see if that matters for Dundee.