Billy Dodds says he has fulfilled a long-held ambition by becoming a head coach in his own right at Caley Thistle.
Dodds has signed a two-year deal to take over at Caledonian Stadium, replacing John Robertson, who has switched to a sporting director position.
It is Dodds’ first permanent management role, having previously served as assistant at Ross County under Jim McIntyre, along with coaching positions at Dundee, Dundee United and Queen of the South.
During his time at United, Dodds briefly stepped in as caretaker manager in 2006, winning his only game 2-1 against Falkirk prior to the appointment of Craig Brewster.
Dodds grateful for opportunity
Dodds has long harboured the ambition to go it alone, with the 52-year-old grateful to Inverness chief executive Scot Gardiner for providing him with the opportunity.
Dodds said: “I’ve always been ready to have a go myself, and I was close to getting a couple of jobs off my own back that I would have taken, but they never materialised.
“I’m a positive person, so I moved on, and it was just great to be in the game as a number two.
“I’m just grateful to Inverness and the board here for giving me an opportunity.
“Everybody says you have to get back in the game, but if you look at it from a realistic point of view, it’s not like England where there are so many jobs going.
“Scotland has got 42 clubs, and working with the BBC and doing media, there are only a certain few that you would have a look at – and they might not come to you.
“Percentages are so low for getting back in the game. I would have loved to get back, but it hasn’t happened, and there are a lot of good managers out of the game.”
Hunger to return to football
Dodds had a brief spell among Inverness’ coaching staff last season, when he assisted interim boss Neil McCann during Robertson’s absence on compassionate leave.
He feels that spell has given him the hunger to return to football permanently for the first time since leaving County in 2017.
Dodds added: “There is always something when you are out of football that wants you to get back in. When Scot came to me about being Neil’s assistant, I thought about it and I went away for a few days and I thought: ‘I have to do this’.
“Coming in and seeing how well the club was run and you see the players you are working with and you get results.
“After a few weeks, I was so glad I made the right decision to come to the club.”
Dodds says he will draw upon inspiration from all of his previous managers, adding: “You have to take a bit from all the different managers I have worked with.
“Gordon Chisholm gave me my chance and working with Jim McIntyre and even Neil McCann.
“If I can emulate what John Robertson did here in four years and Neil did in a few months then we won’t be far wrong.
“I have to keep up that level of performance. I am positive, but I am demanding as well.
“If you don’t have aims and that drive then you shouldn’t be in the game.”