JAMES McFadden has retired from playing to devote himself fully to his new role as a Scotland coach and helping the national team qualify for the finals of a major tournament.

McFadden was released by Queen of the South in January and had been contacted by clubs from Australia, Germany and the United States after he admitted he would like to play abroad.

However, the 34-year-old, who won 48 caps and scored 15 goals for his country, is to hang up his boots and concentrate fully on coaching after receiving a call from Alex McLeish.

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The forward, who is best remembered by the Tartan Army for his long-range goal in the 1-0 triumph over France in Paris back in 2007, believes he has to concentrate on coaching.

“It’s massively exciting,” he said. “It came out of the blue, but I couldn’t say no. Everyone knows what it meant for me to play for Scotland. I am not going to do that again so, for me, this is the next best thing. I couldn’t be happier or more proud.

“It feels good to be back involved in the set-up. Putting the tracksuit on, I am walking about like I’m on cloud nine. I’m really looking forward to it.

“Alex texted me a couple of a days before he was announced. I didn’t even know he was in talks at that time, but he texted me and asked whether I would be interested if he did get the job. 'Absolutely,' was the answer.

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‘”I was still concentrating on getting fit and trying to find a team to play so it was absolutely out of the blue. I didn’t have any thoughts that I might be involved if the gaffer got the job. But I am absolutely delighted that he asked.”

McFadden added: “I don’t think it’s feasible for me to play on. Although this is not a full-time role, I will need to be watching games and players. That might also mean going through and watching boys training in that environment.

“I need to give this job everything I’ve got because it is so important for me. I need to be there for the manager.

“It’s probably the perfect timing for me. There are not many better jobs going about and I couldn’t be happier. This is the path I’m going down now and I’ll take it as far as I can.

“I’ll still have a kick-around, that will never leave me. My love for the game will never go. I just need to concentrate on my job and I can’t wait to get started.”