The Scottish Football Association

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2020 Centre tipped to increase talent from Perthshire

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


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Perth’s 2020 Development Centre will boost the number of players from the county playing at the elite level of the game.

This is the view of Scottish FA East Region football development officer Atholl Henderson who is running the newly established centre at St Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park.

I think this new centre will help increase the amount of players from Perth and Kinross playing at the top of the game,” said Atholl.

“There has never been a lot of elite players from this part of Scotland. The ones I can remember include Paul Sturrock and Ray Stewart.

“Now we have a clear pathway at the Scottish FA for nine-year-olds all the way into the adult game. There has never been a better time and players out there in Perth and Kinross have never had a better chance of making the most of their footballing ability.”

The Scottish FA has established a network of 2020 Development Centres across the country to provide players in primary five, six and seven the opportunity to begin their journey through the Association’s performance pathway.

The Scottish FA’s strategic plan, Scotland United: A 2020 Vision, includes a performance strategy to nurture the country’s best players and establish a clear pathway into the Scotland National Teams. The 2020 Development Centres are a crucial first step on this pathway.

 

The programme involves weekly two-hour training sessions over a 36 week period. The coaches delivering the programme provide relevant and challenging content each week in line with with the following session framework:

- Dynamic warm-up activity including speed and agility training

- Micro training sessions to fine-tune technique

- Game-related practices with a focus on possession

- Micro training sessions to fine-tune technique

- Game-related practices with a focus on positioning 

- Game play and coaching in the game

 
In addition to the weekly training sessions, players receive:

- A homework programme of creative player activities

- Twice yearly player assessments

- Individual practices to develop their strengths and improve weaknesses

- Educational presentations on diet and nutrition and speed development

With the centre being based in Perth, most of the players are linked with St Johnstone but clubs such as Dunfermline and Falkirk are also represented.

Trials for next year’s intake will be taking place at seven primary schools across the county this summer.

Atholl, who played for St Johnstone and Celtic and has been a coach for over 20 years, said the modern coaching techniques used in the 2020 Centres focus heavily on motivation.

He said : “At this stage of the pathway, it is important to inspire the young players to want to become a top player.

“Motivation is key. We want them to want to practice themselves.

“It is going to be exciting to see how the players develop and to, hopefully, have some of them in the Scotland team.

“It would be good for Perth and Kinross to be represented at international level once again.”
 


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