Aston Villa set-piece coach Austin MacPhee has joined Scotland’s backroom staff as he leaves his role with Northern Ireland.

MacPhee worked with Michael O’Neill as Northern Ireland reached Euro 2016. He stayed on to form part of Ian Baraclough’s backroom team but will now take up a coaching role in Scotland head coach Steve Clarke’s plans. MacPhee was appointed set-piece specialist at English Premier League club Aston Villa earlier this summer.

The Aston Villa coach is going with Scotland too. (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It was a move praised by Aston Villa and Scotland midfielder John McGinn. The 41-year-old has also worked for Hearts and Danish side FC Midtjylland. MacPhee takes up the position ahead of Scotland’s three World Cup 2022 qualifiers against Denmark, Austria and Moldova next month.

He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Northern Ireland working under Michael O’Neill and more recently Ian Baraclough. Now a new opportunity has presented itself with my home nation and it is one I couldn’t turn down.

“I leave cherishing the wonderful memories made along the way, not least Euro 2016 which was a special time for the players, staff and the green and white army.”

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