The application process for the Scottish FA JD Performance School programme is now open.
Seven Performance Schools run across Scotland in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Kilmarnock and Motherwell, delivering an extensive, challenging programme for the most talented young footballers in the country.
The aim of the Performance Schools is to develop excellent football players whilst also improving academic and social skills in a programme for boys and girls that runs from S1 to S4.
Participant attendance rates are 4.5% higher than the average pupil.
Recent graduates have also gained better academic results by 9.5% in their National 5s.
On the pitch, 44 professional contracts have been earned, while six players have made debuts for their respective first teams since August 2017.
Harry Cochrane, who attended Grange Academy in Kilmarnock, also became the first Performance School graduate to score in the SPFL Premiership.
Sixteen out of 20 players selected for the Scotland Under-17 side’s European Qualifiers were Performance School graduates.
Neil Mackintosh, Scottish FA Performance Development Manager, said: “It is always exciting to start the new year with the launch of the application process for the next Performance School intake.
“The programme is receiving incredible interest due to the number of our graduates playing first team football at the tender ages of 16 and 17 but it is always fascinating to look back at when the likes of Harry Cochrane and Billy Gilmour amongst others started their journey.
“Great credit must also go to their clubs who we work closely with but it is certainly the case that there are talented players in Scotland.
“The types of player who are successful in the Performance School programme all have certain characteristics that typify the kind of players we are looking to recruit through the upcoming process.
“Obviously football ability of a high order is necessary, but a real love of the game, commitment, effort, resilience and a growth mind-set are all characteristics that we will be looking for in the selection days in the next few months.”
The seven Performance Schools are:
- Hazlehead Academy (Aberdeen)
- St John’s High School (Dundee)
- Broughton High School (Edinburgh)
- Graeme High School (Falkirk)
- Holyrood Secondary School (Glasgow)
- Grange Academy (Kilmarnock)
- Braidhurst High School (Motherwell)
Please note they are for Primary 7 pupils entering S1 in August 2018 and the programme is for players who are eligible to play for Scotland.