Scott Boyd insists he could not delay his next chapter after football any longer after retiring from playing to return to Ross County as sporting director.
After helping Kilmarnock finish third in the Premiership and secure Europa League football, Boyd has taken the decision to hang up his boots at the age of 33 in order to return to the Dingwall club where he previously spent nine years as a player.
Despite the best efforts of former Killie boss Steve Clarke – now in charge of the Scotland national team – to tie him down on a long-term contract, Boyd was unable to resist the call from Staggies chairman Roy MacGregor to assume a role in the running of the Highland outfit.
Boyd said: “Steve Clarke tried to keep me – he offered me an extended contract, saying I was a massive player for him.
“But I think my mind was already made up. Once I spoke to the chairman, it was easy for me – this is what I’ve been working towards for a long time.
“I just felt the timing was right. I always wanted to finish football on a high, rather than be one of those players who hangs on too long.
“It was nice to finish my career on a high with a view to taking on the great work everyone is doing here at Ross County and being part of a club I love.”
Boyd’s vision for a career in football administration is long in the making, having undertaken a university degree in sports management during his stint as a player at Victoria Park, where he made 306 appearances and was awarded a testimonial in 2017.
Boyd insists the conventional path of coaching did not appeal, adding: “I did my B licence with Stuart Kettlewell in about 2011 or 2012 – obviously he got the bug for it and is now the manager at the club.
“When I was on the course, I just said to myself the coaching and management side of things wasn’t really for me.
“I thought about what I wanted to do, and that’s when I decided to embark on the path I’ve gone down.
“I started my qualifications about five years ago when I was at County, but took it to the next level at Killie.
“For the last few years I’ve been working everyday alongside the chief executive Kirsten Callaghan at Kilmarnock and she’s been great.
“I gained a lot of experience in the day-to-day running of a football club.
“It has been a long journey and a lot of hard work juggling the studying, having a family, and being a professional footballer. It was tough, but it has got me sitting here right now.”
Former Staggies defender Ian Maxwell, who is now chief executive of the Scottish FA, is a source of inspiration for Boyd, who added: “It’s easy to say now because he is there, but that is kind of the mould. Even when I started studying and he was at Partick Thistle, I thought it was what I saw myself doing.
“It’s the route I wanted to go down and I’m fortunate the chairman and Ross County have given me this opportunity to hopefully do that.”