Scotland: Anna Signeul stepping down to take up Finland job

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Tough to leave Scotland job - Signeul

Scotland head coach Anna Signeul will step down after this summer's Euro 2017 finals to take charge of Finland.

Signeul, who has managed the Scots since 2005, has led the national side to their first-ever major competition.

The Swede said she had enjoyed "12 great years" at the helm, adding that Scotland would "always hold a very special place in my heart".

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan praised Signeul for her work to raise the profile of women's football.

Signeul and her squad are in Cyprus for a training camp and two friendlies against Denmark as part of their preparation for the Euro 2017 finals in the Netherlands.

Scotland have been drawn in Group D alongside England, Portugal and Spain and are targeting a place in the quarter-finals.

Scotland head coach Anna Signeul and her players
Signeul explained to her Scotland players the reasons for leaving

'Important to clarify my future'

Signeul praised her players for the "wonderful achievement" of securing a place at the finals and said she has made the announcement now so preparations are not disturbed.

"We are determined to go there and make an impact," she said. "The focus is on the Euros and we know there is a lot of work to be done to prepare the team.

"Now that I have explained to the players the reasons for leaving, we will concentrate on making sure we are in the best condition possible for the finals."

Regan said Signeul had made a significant contribution to women's football in Scotland and that he expects her to leave on a high in the summer.

"Anna will rightly be lauded for taking the first Scotland women's national team to a major finals and that legacy is richly deserved," he said.

"More than that, though, she has worked tirelessly and to raise standards at all levels of the women's game and to increase opportunities for girls and women.

"She has been an inspiration and I have no doubt she will burnish that legacy during the Euro finals in the Netherlands."

SFA performance director Malky Mackay
SFA performance director Malky Mackay is searching for Signeul's successor

Tough act to follow

The SFA said new performance director Malky Mackay will begin the process of recruiting Signeul's successor.

"I have only been here for a few weeks but I know that Anna is highly respected within the SFA, among her players and throughout the women's game," said Mackay. "That is the challenge for any potential successor.

"But the most important aspect is to ensure Anna and her squad can focus on their preparations for what will be an exciting and, I'm sure, a successful summer."

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