APPLICATIONS for the re-advertised job of girls' and women's performance manager at the Scottish FA close next Sunday. Filling the post with a candidate who has a proven track record of achievement is essential for the short and medium term prospects of the sport.

The Scotland under-17 side completed their three game Euro qualifying group on Tuesday with a 3-1 loss to Sweden. The first two had seen the Scots lose 4-1 to Netherlands and 2-1 to hosts Portugal.

To be fair, these outcomes were more palatable than the aggregate 14-0 loss the under-19 side suffered in their three qualifying group games on home soil. Both squads were under the jurisdiction of under-17 head coach Pauline MacDonald as her under-19 counterpart, Pauline Hamill, was unable to oversee their group games due to personal circumstances.

The new performance manager will be the age group coaches' line manager and it seems clear a radical reappraisal of how young players are identified and developed is required. Concerns have been expressed about the existing arrangements, and appear to have more substance than mere parental discontent.

The job advertisement states: “The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate proven experience, preferably within girls' and women's football, of leading and executing strategic plans within sport, as well as an ability to lead, inspire and influence people and partners to achieve successful outcomes.”

Why preferably within girls' and women's football? And why, in the job description, does it state: “Ideally qualified to Uefa Pro Licence level”?

While neither is deemed a necessity, will framing the job in this manner encourage the widest possible range of candidates? Scottish football does not have a good high performance track record, and it might be better for somebody from another sport to come in with completely fresh ideas and expertise.

The very worst option is to adopt a model and mindset similar to men's pro youth development. Introduced in 1995-96 – far too late to have any influence on the men's 1996 Euro and 1998 World Cup qualifications – and hailed as a game-changer, it instead coincided with a 22-year failure to reach major tournaments.

If somebody from a different sport isn't available, a candidate from a different footballing culture would also be a good option. It should never be forgotten that Anna Signeul arrived from Sweden in 2005 and, in addition to her international responsibilities, worked tirelessly and successfully to transform the domestic landscape.

JACYNTA Galabadaarachchi won't be in the Celtic side for today's televised SWPL game against Glasgow City. The 21-year-old was shown a straight red in last Sunday's Sky Sports Cup quarter final defeat to Spartans.

It happened late in the first half and, in contrast to the high profile introduction of VAR in the men's Premiership, flew almost under the radar. Because it was a cup tie there wasn't even the usual BBC Monday night SWPL highlights show to pore over what was a highly unusual incident.

Jacynta appeared to be frustrated that the referee was blocking her path for an intended forward pass. She instead passed the ball back and almost immediately the match official blew his whistle and brought out his red card.

According to the Scottish FA, the player was sent off for “Offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures”. Celtic didn't appeal and Jacynta is suspended for two matches.

Given her ten goals, plus her assists for the SWPL's top scorer Clarissa Larisey, the attacking midfielder's loss could be an expensive one for the league leaders. With no disrespect to a typically resolute and well organised Spartans side, being reduced to ten for 82 minutes was an obvious contributing factor to the holders being unexpectedly eliminated.

The result ended any chance of Celtic being involved in December's Tynecastle final, which, following the midweek announcement, will be the first live game of the near £4m Sky Sports contract. Jacynta's absence at Petershill Park today might also have been perceived as a boost for City in the first game of the season involving two of the three sides contesting the title.

Eileen Gleeson, surprisingly, played down the Australian's absence, saying it had no impact on her side's preparations. “We're just focusing on our own squad and strengths,” the City head coach pointed out.

“She's not a topic we've been discussing, or an area we've been working on in training.”

The next three games are huge for the club which dominated the game in Scotland for so long before failing to land a trophy last season. They play Hibernian in the Sky Sports Cup semi-final next Sunday and then, immediately after the international break, host Rangers in the league.