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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Leitch named Ross County manager
Motherwell captain Scott Leitch
Leitch has been helping coaching at Motherwell
Ross County have appointed veteran Motherwell midfielder Scott Leitch as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The 36-year-old, whose contract at Fir Park was set to expire this summer, was unveiled in Dingwall on Tuesday.

Leitch, formerly of Dunfermline Athletic, Hearts and Swindon, admitted to being "surprised and delighted".

"I'm thrilled to get the chance to manage in my own right, particularly somewhere with as good a set-up as County have," he said.

Former Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Aberdeen boss Steve Paterson had also been strongly linked with the vacancy.
We've brought a real leader who is strong, determined and honest
Ross County director of football George Adams

But the First Division club instead handed Leitch, who had been with Motherwell since 2000, his first managerial job.

Leitch helped coach Motherwell's under-19 side this season, during which he has played only once for the first team.

He was on the Scottish Premier League club's bench against Caley Thistle on Saturday after battling back from a serious knee injury picked up in August but rejected the offer of a new contract.

Leitch, who worked with Ross County director of football George Adams at Fir Park, will now be able to watch County's final two games to assess his staff after deciding to retire from the playing side.

Adams said: "We think we've brought a real leader who is strong, determined and honest.

"He's got great contacts in the game and his commitment to giving youth its chance is something that's important to us."

Gardner Spiers, who had been County caretaker for much of the season, left the club this month after being told that he would not be given the job permanently.

Under Spiers, County had been challenging for the title.

But, despite a 13-game unbeaten league run, they were unable to prevent St Mirren being crowned champions and winning promotion at the weekend.

They have since lost two games under Adams and slipped to fourth spot.




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