STEVE Clarke has held talks about drafting former Scotland players into the SFA coaching system in the hope they can inspire promising youngsters - and potentially succeed him as national team manager one day.

Clarke yesterday named his 24 man squad for the Qatar 2022 qualifiers against Israel and the Faroe Islands – two games which are of huge importance to the country’s bid to reach the next World Cup finals – next month.

However, the 58-year-old is also keen to ensure Scotland continue to make it through to major tournaments in the years to come and has spoken to age-group coaches about the possibility of involving ex-internationalists in the set-up.

The former Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United assistant has retained Steven Naismith, the 51-times capped forward who became player development manager at Hearts this summer, on his backroom team for the Israel and Faroe Islands matches.

He feels it would be beneficial to involve Naismith’s contemporaries – and Gary Caldwell, James McFadden, Kenny Miller and James Morrison are all likely to be approached - as well.    

“I have just come out of a meeting with the under-age coaches,” said Clarke. “I have been bouncing a few ideas off them and trying to see if we can put together a coherent plan to move forward and utilise some of the ex-internationals who are maybe a little bit closer to the dressing room.

“It might be worthwhile getting some of them involved at the younger age groups. They can go in and the younger players can look at them and say ‘Ooft’. They will remember them playing for Scotland and see how well they have done. And obviously to try and help the lads stay on the coaching path and try to give them a little help going forward.

“I think it is something we can definitely improve on if there is a vehicle to use them. You have got to imagine these young, potential stars at 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. They are going to be star struck when they see somebody who has played 30, 40, 50 games for their country.

“Suddenly you put them in there and they can be part of the coaching environment. It can only be good for the young players to see that and it can only be good for the coaches as well. Because they might be out of the game just now and looking for a foothold to get back in.

“Some of the age-group coaches, Brian McLaughlin, Billy Stark or Scot Gemmill, might work with them. Then they get a phone call. What’s he like? It might give them a pathway back into the game as well. I think it is something that we can work on, something that hopefully we can do.”

Clarke added: “Obviously budgets and whatever will play a part in it, but we definitely need to look to the future. I will only be here relatively short-term because that is just the nature of the game. We are looking at 10, 12 years down the line.

“Where are we going to be as a country? Are we going to be a pot four team or are we going to be a pot two team. Decisions you make now can influence that. Hopefully we can have some bearing on that now. Listen, my job is to get results for the A team. But you still have to lay the groundwork for future generations.

“You might suddenly find a coach and you think: ‘Wow! Let’s keep him on board’. Maybe they can work through the system and ultimately sit in this hotseat. You never know.

“It’s not even so much about a successor, it’s just about a good head coach for the country moving forward. Whether it is me or somebody else doesn’t really matter, as long as we are successful. I’ll not be here forever.”