The Scottish FA took another forward step in its performance strategy last week as six 2020 Development Centres opened up across the country.
The centres - at Toryglen Regional Football Centre, Broughton High School in Edinburgh, Dundee International Sports Centre, Grange Academy in Kilmarnock, Ravenscraig Sport Centre and Little kerse in Grangemouth - will provide the crucial first steps in the Scottish FA’s Performance Pathway.
Ritchie Wilson, community development manager for the Scottish FA, explained: “The centres are designed to be aspirational and will widen Scotland’s pool of talented players.
“They sit as the base of the Scottish FA Performance Pyramid along with our Performance Schools, Regional and National Performance Squads and ultimately, the Scotland National Teams.
“This individual player development programme will support and complement existing football activity that young players are currently involved with in both the professional and non-professional game.
“The training programme and educational material offered to players and parents will be delivered by qualified coaches who are tasked with creating a challenging and positive experience.”
The centres will play a significant role in the Scottish FA’s strategic plan – Scotland United: A 2020 Vision. In this, a performance element is of great importance which will look to nurture the country’s best players and establish a clear pathway into the Scotland National Teams.
The new centres involve weekly two-hour training sessions which contain a homework programme of creative player activities, twice yearly player assessments, individual practices to develop their strengths and improve weaknesses and educational presentations on diet and nutrition and speed development.