Scotland National Coach George Burley was in Paisley yesterday, to meet young footballers from Castlehead High School.
Castlehead is one of six Scottish FA Schools of Football, where selected players follow an enhanced timetable, which includes a period of football activity every day.
George joined the first and second year pupils on the training field to answer their questions, and watch them show off their skills.
George said: “The Schools of Football are a great way of developing the skills of talented young players. At this age group, playing football every day, and getting expert coaching, is vital for players to go on to reach their full potential.
“There definitely seems to be some talented youngsters here, and you never know, maybe some future Scotland stars!”
Each School of Football has a dedicated Scottish FA coach. At Castlehead High School, that’s Player and Coach Development Officer, and former Celtic player, Brian McLaughlin.
At each school, football is used as a tool to motivate the pupils, and their place on the programme depends on attendance and academic improvement.
Players are selected on footballing ability as well as a range of other criteria. Scottish FA coaches lead the selection and football aspects, but the programme is very much a partnership with local authority education departments, school teachers, active schools co-ordinators and football development officers.
Throughout the programme, players have the opportunity to be talent identified by senior clubs involved in the Scottish FA Youth Initiative programme.
The Scottish FA Schools of Football are supported by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities initiative.