Peterhead boss Jim McInally believes David McCracken has a bright future in coaching after deciding to stay with the club.
The former Dundee United, St Johnstone and Falkirk defender has become a key part of the Blue Toon’s coaching staff, working alongside gaffer McInally and No 2 David Nicholls.
McCracken joined the Buchan outfit as a player for the 2017/18 season and started helping on the coaching side while out injured.
In the season just finished, the 37-year-old assumed the role of player-coach and helped Peterhead win the League Two title.
McCracken has committed to the Blue Toon for next term and McInally believes he will continue to develop as a coach at Balmoor and has a bright future in the technical area.
He said: “David’s just continuing on from last season with the coaching.
“We had him still registered as a player last season, but you could tell from early on that he was more intent on coaching.
“When we’ve had training on a Wednesday night he’s always prominent and his sessions are always well organised.
“He’s really good with the defenders and that’s something we’ll look to keep going in the new season.
“We will need to do a bit more work with the defenders because we will do more defending in League One. Having Cracks there to talk to the defenders along with Mick Dunlop is great for the boys who are learning.
“If we get another centre-back in Cracks, it’s priceless.
“During games I ask him to keep watching what is going on at the back and he does the defensive organisation at set pieces.
“It’s stuff he’s enjoying doing and he’s an important part of our set-up.
“We’ve done it for most of the season where we give Cracks half of the training session.
“He always makes it interesting, everything he does is nice and sharp and to a good standard.
“So he’s done that all this season really and then me and Davie do our part when he’s finished.
“He’s taken that responsibility on himself and it does give me and Davie a chance to take a look at the players and see how they’re working.
“He’s really good and I know he is still developing as a coach, but David certainly has a good future ahead of him.”
McInally believes it’s important to tap into the experience of senior players in his squad.
He added: “I’m sure Cracks appreciates the fact that many players at his age go out of the game because they don’t get an opportunity to coach.
“I think when you’ve got experienced players like Cracks, Mick Dunlop and Derek Lyle, you need to tap into that and use that experience.
“They’ve all got different attributes and it’s not right for me and Davie to think we know better than anybody else.
“So we’re always open to listen to what they say and Cracks has been here two seasons now and knows how the club operates.
“He’s been exceptionally good at what he does and what he brings outwith playing.”