The 59-year-old became the first manager to steer the county to the finals of a tournament since Craig Brown took the team to France 98 when they reached Euro 2020 via a Nations League play-off victory over Serbia. The extension to his deal is one of Scottish FA chief Eexecutive Ian Maxwell’s “easiest decisions”.
Since being appointed to the job in 2019, Scotland have progressed under his management, winning 19 of 41 games and are second seeds in the Euro 2024 qualifying group which gets underway on Saturday with a home match against Cyprus.
“I am proud that my coaching team and I will continue to lead the team through the next two qualifying campaigns, as well as Nations League Group A, but being able to do so is a testament to the squad of players who have been central to our improvement,” Clarke said
“The immediate focus is ensuring a positive start to our Euros campaign against Cyprus, who were the opposition for my first match in charge in 2019. When we named our squad for the double-header, I spoke with my coaches about how the quality and depth of the squad has evolved in those four years. We now have an experienced core who have been constants throughout, but we have also added quality and competition in every area of the team.
“We also played that game in front of around 30,000 fans and will walk out on Saturday, and Tuesday against Spain, to a full house at Hampden Park. It’s imperative that we keep the fans and the nations engaged and entertained and that is something we are all committed to achieving through winning games and qualifying for more major tournaments, starting with Germany next year.”
‘Improvement in the past four years’
SFA chief Maxwell hailed Clarke for uniting a nation and believes there has been “undeniable progress made”.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “This has been one of the easiest decisions and conversations during my time as Chief Executive. Steve has united the nation behind a successful men’s national team and as we look forward to a new UEFA EURO 2024 campaign, it was important we demonstrated our commitment to Steve and his backroom team, and acknowledged the continuity that has been key to our improvement in the past four years.
“I know how determined the squad are to return to a major final after experiencing EURO 2020 and while everyone was disappointed not to have reached the World Cup in Qatar last December, securing promotion to Nations League Group A was another sign of the undeniable progress made.
“I’m sure the fans will share the Scottish FA’s excitement and we wish Steve and his squad all the best for the forthcoming double-header.”
After facing bottom seeds Cyprus, Scotland then welcome Spain to Hampden Park with away trips to Norway and Georgia in June to follow.