IAN McCALL hasn't applied for a job in Scotland since resigning seven months ago as Partick Thistle manager.
Jobs have been available at St Johnstone, Hibs, Hearts, Kilmarnock and Ross County but McCall struggles to see the point in putting himself forward.
He feels chairmen in our top two leagues may regard him as being "tired".
Yet he feels better equipped now to do well at a high level than he did eight years ago when, as the hottest young Scottish manager in our game, he was given the top job at Dundee United.
His spell at Tannadice didn't go to plan. He had to slash around £1million off the wage budget and left United in 2005.
He then had a stint at Queen of the South followed by four years at Firhill.
Now, aged 47, McCall shouldn't be regarded as washed up - but he wonders if he'll get another opportunity.
McCall told MailSport: "I've been in management for 14 or 15 years and found this period to be quite hard.
"I keep busy, working at games for Radio Clyde, doing consultancy work with Kenny Moyes at Libero Sports Management and helping at Kelvinside Academy, taking kids' football and soccer exercise classes.
"It's important to put yourself in a position where you don't need to take the first job that's offered.
"Previously, I had never applied for jobs - jobs came after me. That will have to change now. I've not applied for any jobs here but have gone for jobs down south.
"I've nothing against Scottish football but feel I might be perceived as being a little bit tired. Maybe it would be good to go to England or abroad.
"A new breed is coming through - Paul Hartley, Paul Sheerin, Steven Pressley, Jackie McNamara and Jim McIntyre.
"Time will tell who will be good enough to survive in the game for a long time. There also appears to be a fashion to look towards Ireland. Maybe they're a cheaper option.
"But so many Scottish managers are being overlooked.
"Look at Jimmy Calderwood. His CV stacks up after success at Dunfermline and Aberdeen. Maybe chairmen see him as being old and tired. He should be in the game.
"I'm young and hungry. In 2003 I could have gone to almost any club.
"I turned down Aberdeen and Dundee United. United came back for me.
"My CV stands up to scrutiny. The only blemish I have is a six-month period at Tannadice. But what happened there wasn't down to me.
"Every gaffer has a similar story. Craig Levein can tell you things about Leicester. Walter Smith can tell you circumstances at Everton."
McCall enjoyed his battles in the SPL against Old Firm bosses Martin O'Neill and Alex McLeish and had huge admiration for Tony Mowbray when he was at Hibs.
He said: "There is no right or wrong way to play football. When I managed in the SPL the level I thought I had to get to was that of Mowbray and O'Neill.
"Tony played open and expansive football. Martin's teams could play great football but they could also batter teams.
"Now, there are just not as many good players in the top league.
"When I was last in the SPL, half-decent money was being paid - that's not the case now. The English Championship can pay seven or eight times our average wage."
McCall has shed four stones in weight over the past three years and only drinks an occasional shandy.
He's not like he was as a player when he used to break curfew after curfew to enjoy nights out. McCall now feels in good shape, physically and mentally, and hopes there will be an opportunity for him.
He turned down a well-paid job in India during the summer as he didn't want to be away from his family. Falkirk courted him at the end of last season.
It's now about waiting for the phone to ring. He said: "I see lots of guys managing and coaching at an excellent level and I gave them jobs over the years.
"From Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty now at Bristol, to Owen Coyle and Sandy Stewart, to Yogi Hughes and Brian Rice. That's a recommendation.
"Maybe I should take a smaller job at a part-time club and combine it with the other things I'm doing now.
"But perhaps that would be an admission that all the promise I showed, now won't happen - that I don't think I can get to that level.
"I was very unfulfilled as a player as to what I could have been. I don't want to be that way as a manager.
"I'm fitter now than I was a decade ago.
I did it the wrong way round. When I played I was terribly ill-disciplined.
"Yet as a boss I knew I needed a clear head all week because your work is done in a three-hour period on a Saturday, particularly at half-time. I look forward to that 15-minute spell again."
Ian up Fir being Jags boss again
Ian McCALL has vowed to return to boss Partick Thistle before he retires from football.
The 47-year-old insists the Jags have a special place in his heart despite him resigning earlier this year after four seasons in charge at Firhill.
McCall said: "I want to manage Partick again. It's a magical club. A lot of the stuff I was involved in at Thistle couldn't be put on my CV.
"It was a shell when I took over. I became immersed because I lived near the stadium. I was at youth games, out scouting kids and sourcing shirt sponsors. I resigned but there was no animosity. A few things just weren't right and I found my last 18 months there very hard.
"Yet I would have stayed for 10 years, but I was worried that would have been seen as a lack of ambition."