Despite almost 50 years in football, Gordon Strachan says he’s still learning in his work with Dundee’s academy as the club’s technical director.
The former Scotland coach came through the ranks at Dens Park as a player in the early 70s and returned to the club last summer to help bring through the next generation.
Nine months after coming back to Dundee, Strachan says “it’s been great fun” working at the club again.
He told the Totally Scottish Football Show podcast: “It’s really given me something back.
“I coach the coaches as well, working with younger coaches telling them ‘think about that, try this’. I’ve learned a lot of things in the last year, working on the ground with the academy.
“I’m not telling them how to play football. You’ve got to develop players when you never know what the system is going to be in five, six, seven, eight years. It all seems to go in a circle – teams are looking to play 4-4-2 again.
“So you have to try and prepare players to deal with any system that comes up. You have to see things in players: are they brave enough on the ball? Is their technique good enough? Can they play in different positions?
“It’s been great fun.”
The ex-Celtic boss says he’s glad not to be involved in the “stramash” surrounding Scottish football at the moment as the Scottish Professional Football League attempts to navigate a way through the coronavirus shutdown.
But he has backed SPFL chief Neil Doncaster saying his integrity shouldn’t be questioned amid the controversy over Dundee’s voting U-turn and subsequent ending of the lower-league season.
“I’ve taken a lot hard jobs in my life – pressure jobs, pressure places,” Strachan added.
“I don’t think I’d want to be in the SPFL right now. It really is a horrendous job.
“But I know most of the people there at the top level, particularly Neil Doncaster, and I don’t think their integrity can be questioned. I think it’s unfair to do that.
“I thought it would get nasty after a wee while, but I thought it would get nasty with lawyers, [when it came to deal with] who’s getting in Europe, who’s getting relegated.
“But it’s got nasty quite quickly, which it can in Scotland, as we all know. There can be a wee bit of friction, and we can make it into a bit of a stramash.
“It’s not a situation I’d want to be in.”
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