The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Bravo Bhoys but don’t do it again, pleads SFA president
SFA president Alan McRae hopes Celtic’s season of utter domestic dominance is a one-off.
McRae hailed their ‘amazing’ unbeaten campaign coming half a century after European Cup glory.
However, he is expectant about seeing a far stronger challenge to the Treble winners in 2017/18.
McRae said: ‘It’s difficult for the other clubs to compete with Celtic because at the moment Celtic are flying high. They had a fantastic achievement to come through both cups and the league being undefeated, especially on the 50th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions.
‘It’s quite amazing. They’ve done it once but hopefully it won’t happen again next season because we must have challengers.
‘They know you need to have people challenging, otherwise it will get very boring and dreary. We definitely need a good, strong Rangers. They are back but they still have a bit to go. I am sure they will eventually. Hibs are back, which is good.
‘Hearts will have their stadium finished. I think we are in for a really exciting season with Aberdeen up there again and St Johnstone, who are difficult to beat.
‘We’ve just got to have our top teams performing at the highest level, trying to get the coefficient back up.
‘That needs the other teams, such as Aberdeen, to get decent runs if they can and get through to the (Europa League) group stage.’
McRae, meanwhile, has praised the impact made by Malky Mackay six months into his tenure as performance director at Hampden.
He believes Mackay has brought ‘the spark’ required for the role vacated by Brian McClair last summer.
Mackay has been charged with delivering the Project Brave blueprint to clubs as a viable saviour of the development of academy players in Scotland.
The former Cardiff and Watford boss is the third appointment to the role following Mark Wotte and McClair.
McRae said: ‘Mark did okay up to a point and got the thing going. Unfortunately, I don’t think the job suited Brian and I don’t think he was happy.
‘He was happy to decide to go in another direction, so probably there was a lull or stagnation.
‘Malky’s come in and is full of enthusiasm. He has managed at the top level in England. He’s very influential, a good guy.
‘He’s got a bit of zip in him. He was brilliant at the interviews with how he came across and what he was going to do. That was the spark we needed.
‘He’s brought that oomph and the experience and the contacts and is the right sort of guy to drive that.
‘What we have seen of Malky is promising and good because it’s a difficult job to get this up and going and over the line. Not only is this going to improve the international standing, hopefully it should improve club football if we get better, talented players who can play first-team football.’