DEAN SHIELS has called on SPFL bosses to use the current Scottish football hiatus to implement league reconstruction.

Scotland has already called time on all four divisions in the country and with uncertainty surrounding the return of competitive matches, Shiels believes this would be the ideal time for modification.

The Northern Irishman played 295 times in Scotland, scoring 67 goals, but despite his success he admits boredom became a factor when playing the same outfits every other week.

Speaking to Herald and Times Sport, Shiels said: “Scotland is not a healthy country football wise at the minute and that’s why I think there has to be a change.

 “I think they missed a trick a couple of years back when they had the option to reconstruct the league. I think now they have maybe got that opportunity again to reconstruct the league set-up a little bit.

“I played one season in the Championship towards the end of my career and I know there are some really good clubs in that league. The club I was at Dunfermline, they were an excellent well run team who have a brilliant chairman in Ross McArthur.

“There are a lot of clubs in that league who are just as equal in terms of stature to the likes of Hamilton, St Mirren and Ross County. There’s no difference between the clubs in the lower half of the Premiership and those who are challenging in the Championship.

“The Premiership for me at the minute gets a bit repetitive. I think there was one time when I was at Hibs and we played Aberdeen seven times in the one season. We drew them in the cup and had replays.

“You were going up against your opponent and you would be like ‘not you again this is just so boring’.

“So I think they definitely need to extend the league, but whether they do it is anyone’s guess. There are good people on the SPFL board and I think they will realise that there is a chance to do something here.

“The priority has to be that people’s lives are at risk at the moment and people are being affected all over the world, but I think the most important thing for Scottish football is that they use downtime to try and reconstruct.”

The 35 year-old is currently completing his coaching badges and has aspirations to follow in his father’s footsteps, with a career in management at the forefront of his mind.

His old man Kenny, managed Kilmarnock between 2011 and 2013 before going on to take the reigns of Morton in the Championship.

And Dean, who hung up his playing boots last year, admits his dad has played a key role in motivating him to become a manager one day.

He continued: “If I was still in Scotland I would probably still be playing, because I am still fit enough to play, but the football over here just doesn’t suit the way I like to see the game being played.

“I have been doing my coaching badges and I was about to finish off my UEFA A-license before the virus kicked in, so hopefully I will finish that off soon.

“I’ve been in and around my dad’s coaching it is something that I have had an appetite for from a young age and I definitely want to become a manager and I definitely want to try and progress.

“I was due to visit a couple of clubs in Holland to gain some education, but obviously with the virus it just hasn’t worked out.

“I definitely want to manage in Scotland. Obviously I spent the majority of my career over there and I have a lot of friends there.

“I know the leagues and I know what it takes to win in those leagues, but I understand it isn’t just as easy as turning the tap from a player and going straight into management.

“My dad has had a great career and great experiences in the game so he’s good to speak to about those things and there’s other people who I have played with in the past who I still keep in contact with.”

Shiels knocked back offers of playing Champions League football in 2012, when he made the switch from Kilmarnock to his boyhood love Rangers.

The former Northern Irish international had the option to switch to Danish champions FC Nordsjaelland and clubs in the Bundesliga and England were also interested.

But as Shiels explains, when Ibrox legend Ally McCoist came calling, there was only one move he was ultimately going to make.

He added: “I had the opportunity to go and play in the Champions League, but I wanted to play for Rangers in the third division and I don’t regret it one bit.

“I had Scandinavian teams wanting me to join and I was actually in Germany when Rangers called me, I had just come off the back of a great season with Kilmarnock.

“Growing up as a Rangers fan and when Ally McCoist phones you to sign for the club you aren’t going to say no.

“I miss playing for Rangers, any time I walked out at Ibrox I felt so lucky. It is something that will stick with me my whole life.

“I feel I played my part in getting the club back to where they belong and I can take some satisfaction from that, but it would give me more satisfaction now to see the current team win the title again. Hopefully that is coming sooner rather than later.

“I had grown up being a Rangers fan so I was always aware of what it meant to the fans, so it was simple for me to give my all and do my best.

“When you got beat it was like it was the end of the world and that is the way it should be, Rangers should never get beaten ever.”