IT has been just nine years since Saltcoats' own Steve Clarke took on his first managerial job. 

And now he is less than a week away from taking charge of the first Scotland side at a major tournament, the first to appear since 1998. 

West Brom confirmed the appointment Steve as their head coach on this day in 2012.

The 48-year-old former St Andrew's Academy pupil succeeded Roy Hodgson, who had left the Hawthorns to manage England.

Clarke arrived on a two-year deal from Liverpool, where he was assistant under Kenny Dalglish.

It was Clarke’s first job as the main man, with previous spells on the backroom staff coming at Newcastle and Chelsea.

His appointment ended West Brom’s month-long search for a new boss after Hodgson took charge of the national team on the back of guiding the Baggies to a 10th-placed finish in the Premier League.

Clarke’s first season at the helm saw him carry on Hodgson’s good work at the club, with a dramatic 5–5 home draw with Manchester United – in what was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match as manager – seeing the Baggies secure their best finish since 1981 by ending the campaign in eighth.

However, the 2013-14 campaign saw Clarke sacked before Christmas after a defeat at Cardiff left the club two points above the relegation zone.

Following spells in charge of Reading and Kilmarnock, either side of an assistant manager’s role at Aston Villa, Clarke was appointed Scotland manager in May 2019.