If you think about it, after all that's happened this year, this wee story I am about to tell is remarkable.

Why on earth would any club in Scotland want to appoint a highly-skilled man and place him in charge of their rugby?

Why would anyone want such a post? To catch up on some sleep? Not a bit of it.

To a Martian it would look as though there is absolutely no point at all, given that Scottish clubs won't be playing anyone else but themselves, and they have nowhere to go.

The SRU's super teams operate at a level above our clubs.

Well, Hutchesons'/Aloysians in the South-Side of Glasgow don't believe that is all there is on the landscape, because we can reveal today that one of the most respected rugby men in the land, Doctor Mal Reid, has accepted the post of full-time director of rugby at the club.

Doctor Reid played for top- class Welsh rugby union clubs, played professional rugby league for five seasons for Barrow, then came to Scotland to become assistant director of PE at Aberdeen University and took the Scottish students to their World Cup in 1992.

He has a doctorate in psycho-logy, took charge of the student rugby league in Scotland in the early eighties, and has spent the last two years as director of rugby at Charlotte in North Carolina, USA.

The beautiful Nether Auldhouse now beckons, with Glasgow's rain as a steady backdrop, in the only country on the British mainland without a progression from league to British league, or European Cup, for its clubs.

I had to ask the question: Why?

''They contacted me earlier this year through Walter Malcolm,'' Mal told me. Walter is a former Glasgow rugby captain.

''The club has had the benefit of Sandy Carmichael's teachings, but he has now retired and I was impressed with the people there, and, after talking with Alan Ramsay, both sides agreed to see how we could do and whether it would work out. ''I want to take their game on to another level and help them move forward.

''We have to accept that the game is professional in approach anyway, and I like the club's ambition. I have been given the opportunity to get in with a group of people who want a challenge.''

To help him give H/A success, Reid has been followed from America by a young lad called Craig Errington, who hails originally from Manchester.

''He was another rugby league player who had signed for Swinton. He came with me to the States,'' says Reid in his Northern England accent.

''He is a stand-off who qualifies for Scotland and I think that once the selectors see him they will be very interested.''

So there's more to this than meets the eye.

Here is a man with a doctorate in psychology, and a history in rugby league, trying to help the former pupils of two of Glasgow's most famous schools to progress their rugby.

''It may sound strange, but rugby has been a constant theme in my life,'' Reid says.

''And when it comes to rugby league and rugby union, it's very obvious that the skills of both games are getting closer and closer together.

''I actually think that the two games are heading in the same direction, and the Southern Hemisphere Super 12 rugby is more like rugby league than old style British rugby union.

''I am interested in both codes, and if we can have a game with the best of both, then we have a game with athletic possibilities and a spectacular one, too.

''When it comes to coaching, I find I do things with the forwards in groups of four, with interactive skills. There is a big cross-over.''

Reid, a rugby nut, thinks that rugby is a lifestyle, and I agree with him, but mix lifestyle and psychology and you have a heady mixture.

''How do you go about fulfiling ambitions at a club like Hutchesons'/ Aloysians?

''I believe that attaining most things takes time. You have to set your own Olympic targets and then chase them,'' he says.

It reminds me of the fact that not that long ago a four-minute mile was quite definitely out the question. ''It is obvious that in most things gradualism wins, and that revolution begets revolution. There must be slow, and manageable change, but there must be ambition there, too.''

Yes, good luck to Reid and the forward-looking folk from H/A.

Ambition, and mind games, never hurt anybody. Or, then again, maybe they did.