Austin MacPhee joins Scotland coaching staff as former Hearts assistant explains why he left Northern Ireland set-up
Scotland manager Steve Clarke has added former Hearts assistant Austin MacPhee to his coaching staff.
The 41-year-old left his role as a coach with Northern Ireland to take up the position at Hampden Park ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
Currently working as a set-piece coach at Aston Villa, MacPhee will now perform a dual role with the Scottish national team.
He joins John Carver in Clarke's backroom team and fills a vacancy left by the departing Steven Reid, who has stepped down due an increased workload at club level with Nottingham Forest.
MacPhee explained that the chance to work for Scotland was one he could not refuse.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Northern Ireland working under Michael O’Neill and more recently Ian Baraclough,” he said, speaking to the Northern Irish FA website.
“Now a new opportunity has presented itself with my home nation and it is one I couldn’t turn down. I leave cherishing the wonderful memories made along the way, not least Euro 2016 which was a special time for the players, staff and the Green and White Army.”
He was previously wanted by the Scottish Football Association for the role of performance director, however he intead chose to join Hearts as assistant coach in 2016.
He left in May 2020 and enjoyed a brief spell at the Danish club Midtjylland before being appointed as Aston Villa’s set-piece coach earlier this month.
MacPhee’s tenure with Northern Ireland spanned more than 70 international fixtures. He previously held jobs as a UEFA technical observer and a FIFA coach mentor with the China national team.