On the back of specific recommendationsin the McLeish review relating to the performance of our domestic andnational teams the Scottish FA commissioned Alistair Gray of Renaissanceand Co. to lead the consultancy phase of our Performance Strategydevelopment.
The implementation of Gray's work kicked-off with thesearch for our first ever Performance Director. Dutchman Mark Wotte wasin position early 2011 with the principle task of getting all ournational teams qualifying for tournaments once again.
Theperformance system has been backed by the Scottish FA Board and around£10m worth of investment will be made available over the next five yearsto bring the performance principles to life. They include:
* A strategic plan to ensure 10,000 hours of quality ball time for elite players
* Creating a Best v Best culture
* Creating a world-class coaching community
* Establishing a new Scotland Way
MarkWotte believes the formation of seven Regional Performance Schools willsymbolise the first green shoots of recovery for Scottish football.
TheScottish FA’s performance director spent his first few months inpost observing matches from senior international level to grassroots,and believes the nation must have a more focused and co-ordinatedapproach to youth development.
Fundamental to his performancestrategy is the appointment of seven regional performance coaches towork out of appointed schools that will house the most talented kids inthe region, providing expert, tailored coaching before and after thecurriculum.
“We will start with seven performance schools andinvest in our elite kids: our 12 to 15 year olds,” he said. “I believethis is the most important part of what we are aiming to do. Theseacademies are a huge step in the right direction. I want to be in theposition where we see these academies creating the Scotland stars oftomorrow and I am confident that this will happen.
“In fact, by 2020, I expect our senior A squad to have six or seven players who have come from our performance schools.”
Therole of performance director was hailed by the National Team Coach,Craig Levein, as the most significant appointment the Scottish FA hasmade in decades. The remit of the role is to take Scottish football fromgood to great once again, by planning a route from grassroots to thesenior national men’s and women’s teams and creating a Best v Bestculture.
Mark has played a crucial role in appointing RickySbragia to the position of under-17s coach and is actively recruitingother experienced coaches to focus on other international youth groups.
ShonaRobison has kicked off plans to deliver Scotland’s first NationalPerformance Centre and Scottish FA Chief Executive Stewart Regan hasbeen appointed chair of the steering group. He will be joined by fiveother members, including Sheila Begbie, Scottish FA Head of Girls' andWomen's Football.
Steering group members:
Paul Bush OBE -Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, Scotland’s National EventsAgency, which works to attract, generate and sustain a portfolio ofworld-class events. Paul is responsible for the development ofScotland’s major international sports and cultural events strategy. This has included work on events such as Ryder Cup 2014, CommonwealthGames 2014, World Cross Country Championships, Edinburgh InternationalFestivals, MOBO and numerous other international events
AlistairGray - Current Chair of British Swimming and former Chair of BritishPerformance Basketball and President/Chair of Scottish Hockey. He wasalso the founding Chair of the Scottish Institute of Sport from 1996 to2006. He is a director of Renaissance & Co, a consulting firmspecialising in strategic management of business and sport. He recentlyworked with the Scottish FA on the development of their performancestrategy which identified the need for a National Performance Centre
DouglasPotter - Chair of the High Performance Group (Hockey) in Scotland. Inthis independent role he aligns the High Performance efforts of Scottishand GB Hockey with the support services provided by sportscotland. Heis a former GB and Scotland captain who represented his country over 120times. In his day job Douglas is Technical Services Director ofChesapeake Ltd, a global 5,000 people strong and £500 million turnoverpackaging company which includes three manufacturing sites in Scotland.He is responsible for specification, procurement and commissioning of£multi million capital investments.
Stewart Harris - Stewart wasappointed as the Chief Executive of sportscotland in November 2005. Hepreviously held positions at sportscotland of Acting Chief Executive andDirector of Widening Opportunities. Stewart brings a wealth ofexperience to the role including 12 years as a PE teacher, a lifelonginvolvement with basketball in Scotland as a board member, club andinternational coach for 25 years at both Scottish and Great Britainstudents level, as well as extensive experience of working with localauthorities.
Sheila Begbie - Sheila is the Head of Women’s andGirls’ Football at the Scottish FA. She is responsible for the strategicdevelopment of the girls'/women's game. Her role includes developingpartnerships to promote the girls'/women's game with a variety of keyagencies and establishing links with tertiary education to supportdevelopment of elite performers. Sheila is a Vice Chairwoman in the UEFAWomen's Committee and also a UEFA Match Delegate.