Alan Mahood: From Saltcoats to Serbia – Steve Clarke’s journey to the Euro’s

In October 2017 when Kilmarnock FC were managerless a few names were mentioned. Some were the usual suspects, one or two were interesting outsiders, then there was Steve Clarke. As a fan you always look at where a managers been and who they’ve worked with? Ruud Gullit, Jose Mourinho, Gianfranco Zola & Kenny Dalglish are decent names on your CV by anyones standards.

Credit: Ultraslansi

He got offered the job, took it and the club went from strength to strength. He gave the club self belief and hope which filtered its way through the stands and had Rugby Park bouncing again.
Drawing your opening games with either side of Old Firm isn’t a bad start and it kept getting better.

Credit: Thomas Nugent / Rugby Park Stadium from the air / CC BY-SA 2.0

Before he left to take the Scotland job he finished the league in 3rd place securing European qualification for 1st time in 15 years (although having made the trip to Wales the least said the better). Obviously, I was bitterly disappointed like everyone else when he left but better he went to manage the country rather than a rival club.

His style of play was often criticised as defensive, looking to secure a defensively solid 1-0 win but if you set up not to concede its a good start.

Now, we are seeing his organisational skills at International level resulting in us qualifying for the Euros and lifting a whole country at a terrible time giving us something to look forward to next summer.

I’ve supported Killie all my days but be fair to say he had everybody believing we would win something. There was even one point he took us top of the league. It only lasted a few days but we were there.

For two years the fans believed in him and everything he said and done. Theres a reason the Killie fans call him Sir Steve, hopefully all of Scotland will be calling him Sir Steve when we win the Euros…

Obviously, making that a reality would be a shock of epic proportions but why not dare to dream (at least for a moment) when we have our leader…

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