The world and European medallist ended their tie-up when she retired earlier this year, leaving the one-time Scotland international to oversee the relay squads at the Commonwealth Games. And McConnell claims Harkins possesses a ruthless streak that will keep athletes and coaches on their toes. "Rodger had to have honest conversations with me over the years during our partnership and he will be able to make tough decisions," said McConnell, pictured. "But it will be a big plus that everyone already knows and respects him."
"There's always some resistance if a new person comes in, especially from outside Scotland. He's been in the system and knows it locally, as well as from a GB level, so it will be a popular appointment because of the rapport he's built up with a lot of athletes."
Harkins will formally take over from Stephen Maguire next month but with the pair working closely together over the past two years, it is likely to see minimal change in the approach.
"They think along the same lines," McConnell added. "Rodger has the same kind of vision."