Shadab Iftikhar joins Fort William to become Scotland’s first senior manager of South Asian heritage | Football News

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Fort William have appointed the first manager of South Asian heritage in senior Scottish football.

Shadab Iftikhar will take charge of the Highland League side until the end of the season, with the option for a further year, in what is a landmark appointment by the club.

The former Mongolia boss holds a UEFA A Licence coaching qualification and worked as an opposition scout for Roberto Martinez during Belgium’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Shebab  Iftikhar has worked under Roberto Martinez at Wigan, Everton and Belgium
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Iftikhar has worked under Roberto Martinez at Wigan, Everton and Belgium

The 32-year-old said: “I would like to thank the board for giving me this opportunity and trusting me with this project.

“Despite not being able to play home games at Claggan, I promise one thing, I will work as hard as possible to give the club, the fans and the town something to be proud of.”

Learning under Martinez

Roberto Martinez has refused to comment on his future
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Martinez worked with Iftikhar after meeting him during a coaching course

Iftikhar’s partnership with Martinez began when he was introduced to then Wigan boss during his FA Level 2 coaching course.

After impressing, Iftikhar was soon writing scouting reports about the Latic’s opposition and followed Martinez to Everton.

He then became reserve manager at non-league Hesketh Bank, before becoming first-team boss.

After completing his UEFA A Licence, Iftikhar moved to Mongolia to take charge of New Mongol Bayangol following their rise to the nation’s Premier League. He also became assistant manager of the Mongolian national team.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 9:  Belgium during a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Scotland and Belgium, at Hampden Park, on September 9, 2019, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
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Iftikhar was part of the Belgium coaching team at Euro 2020

He returned to England to work as an academy coach before heading abroad again to take over at Vailima Kiwi FC in the Samoa national league.

Last summer he joined up with Martinez again as part of the Belgium manager’s coaching staff at Euro 2020.

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