NEWCASTLE, Chelsea, West Ham, Liverpool, West Brom, Reading and Aston Villa. Nope, it's not a Joey Barton accumulator. What it is, is the fantastic coaching CV of Steve Clarke. A young Ayrshire lad who went on to be a very good player, at firstly St Mirren, and then down to Chelsea, even managing to win the UEFA Cup Winners Cup with the Blues back in 1998.

But it was to be in coaching that he has really made his mark. A guy who as assistant manager to Jose Mourinho at Chelsea won two leagues, an FA Cup and two League Cups in just three seasons. He has worked with the likes of Dalglish, Zola and Di Matteo. But that was always as a No.2 and it is an entirely different when you become the head honcho at a club, calling the shots with your neck on the line.

You skim along in the slipstream of a guy like Mourinho. But in his spell as the boss at West Brom, he led them to an eighth-place finish in the Premiership and even took Reading to their first FA Cup semi-final in 88 years. So, he has proved he could be reasonably successful as a manager. He certainly has a very good reputation and name within the football fraternity.

You would think a guy with a coaching pedigree as laden as that would be able to pick and choose his next job, down south or beyond. I have little doubt that opportunities have been made available for him to get back in the rat race and they’ve been turned down in the hope of a bigger job.

But a year out of the game is a long time and can leave you almost forgotten about, whether you are a player or a manager. It can leave you desperate to get back in. The longer you are out the game, the more difficult it is to get a gig. Just ask Billy Davies, or Alex McLeish. Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and prove yourself at a lower level to where you maybe see yourself; take one step back to take two forward. Just get back in somewhere, to prove yourself.

Maybe that is what Clarke has had to do. That said, even for Kilmarnock, who have been in all honesty, a long-running disaster movie, filled with apathy on and off the pitch, to attract a guy like Clarke on a two-and-a-half-year deal is not only a major coup for Killie but for Scottish football.

The reaction by supporters of various clubs, particularly on social media, has been pretty positive which is not always the case. It shows you the reputation Stevie Clarke has up here. He has never coached up in Scotland before, which gives him a bit of mystique so to speak. There is arguably only one coach working in Scotland now with a more attractive-looking coaching CV and that is Brendan Rodgers. It is filled with style and a bit of substance. I would be certain that with Clarke’s contacts down south and abroad, that you will see some exciting players coming into Rugby Park in January and beyond. Those contacts could prove priceless to a club like Kilmarnock.

The Kilmarnock board has to be commended on this appointment. He will be on a decent salary, but he will also be wanting a budget to bring players in and to build a squad capable of not only getting out of the position they are in, but getting into the top six.

Certainly, he hasn't come up here to fight relegation every year. Plans will be in place to get the club up the table again and he must be given the time to do that. With the departure of Michael Johnston in the summer appeasing a lot of the fans who protested against his involvement at Rugby Park, those running the club have to kick on.

Clarke’s recruitment is a major positive, and Billy Bowie, along with the rest of the board, are showing real ambition and intent, to push the boat out to bring in a guy of that calibre.

There really is no excuse for the people of Kilmarnock to not get fully behind the club now. They need to get back through the turnstiles again. It's as simple as that.

The in-fighting should now be blown away with this appointment. Attendances have been poor at Kilmarnock for a number of years now, which in turn has created an environment that has not helped the players on the park.

I was at the Kilmarnock v Hamilton Accies game earlier this season and couldn't believe how bad the atmosphere was. Yes, Rugby Park is a bit of a white elephant and too big for a club like Kilmarnock but still, it was alarming to see so many empty seats. They are now relying on the real diehards.

Yet, a year last May, with the club 1-0 down and staring relegation squarely in the face, they turned out in their droves and helped inspire the team to a fantastic 4-0 victory over Falkirk to preserve their top-tier status. When they were needed they answered the call. It's amazing the boost that players get when they see that. They feed off the energy of the crowd. There hasn't been that sort of energy in the place for a while. But that proved the support is there.

Luring Steve Clarke north has showed ambition by the board. They are trying their best to make the club better and get some positivity around the place again.

They have backed the club. It's time the Kilmarnock punters did the same.