Before the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday, the Scottish FA Performance Schools had their second graduation with the players, head teachers and parents in attendance to have their achievements recognised.
The event gave all 85 participants in the programme the chance to graduate in style, receiving their certificates from Performance Director Malky Mackay and one of last year’s Performance School graduates, Kieran Freeman.
In partnership with the Scottish FA, the seven Performance Schools have delivered an extensive, challenging programme for the country’s most talented young footballers.
The programme is for boys and girls and runs from S1 to S4. The Scottish FA employ seven full-time Performance Youth Coaches, who have responsibility for the delivery of the programmes in each school.
The seven partner schools are as follows:
Hazlehead Academy – Aberdeen
St John’s High School – Dundee
Graeme High School – Falkirk
Braidhurst High School – Motherwell
Broughton High School – Edinburgh
Holyrood Secondary School – Glasgow
Grange Academy – Kilmarnock
Malky Mackay, Scottish FA Performance Director said: “It was a brilliant way to celebrate the pupils achievements.
“This can be the start of a wonderful journey for them if they continue to work hard. If they do that, the rewards will be endless.
“The Performance Schools is a great initiative, developing youngsters and improving them as people and players.
“Credit must go to the players, coaches, head teachers and parents who have put in so much effort over the last four years."
Neil MacKintosh, Scottish FA Performance Development Manager said: “The graduation acted as a culmination of four years work for these young people.
“It’s been a pleasure and privilege to watch these young men grow into great people and improve as footballers.
“It was a chance to celebrate their work and share it with their families on Cup Final day.
“In the last few months Dean Campbell, a graduate from Hazlehead Academy, was the first Performance School player to make his competitive debut, for Aberdeen. That was fantastic and provides extra motivation for everyone involved.”
Performance School graduate Kieran Freeman who signed a two year contract with Southampton this year, said: “Becoming a Performance School graduate last year was a great achievement and signing a professional deal with Southampton a few months ago has topped it all.
“It was great coming back to present certificates to players who have a massive future ahead of them.
“There will be a lots of ups and downs, as I’ve already experienced.
“I know a lot of the graduates well having played with them and I’m looking forward to being their teammates again in the future.”