The Scottish FA are delighted to announce our Club Development Conference 2017 will be held at the University of Stirling on Sunday, 1 October.


The conference is available to clubs at all levels of the game and each club is encouraged to nominate an ‘off pitch’ club leader such as a chairman or club secretary and an ‘on pitch’ club coach developer such as a head coach, manager or development officer to attend the day.


Please note that places are limited and can be booked via Scottish FA Live – search for “Scottish FA Club Services: Club Development Conference 2017” in the book a course section.


Confirmed Speakers


Michael Beale


Michael is a 37 year old coach from London, England. He has experience working for Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC academies as a youth development coach from under-6s through to under-23s coach. In December 2016, Michael moved from Liverpool to Sao Paulo FC (Brazil) as assistant manager. He is currently studying towards the UEFA Pro Licence and is an author of ten published books.


Peter Davidson


Peter was formerly a lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise before assuming the roles, amongst others, of Fitness Coach and Head of Sports Science at Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club and Dundee United Football Club respectively. 


Now the Chief Executive of the Links Park Community Trust, he has been instrumental in creating one of the most innovative Football Trusts in the country.


Greig Mailer


Greig started his new role at the Scottish FA in July as Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications. 


He joined from Hibernian Football Club where he was responsible for the commercial, retail, ticketing, communication and marketing functions at Easter Road. 


Earlier in his career, he worked for seven seasons with the SPL as Marketing and Communications Manager, before he moved to Switzerland to work with UEFA as Marketing Activities Manager. 


In Nyon, he managed the sponsorship programme of the UEFA Champions League. The role also included being part of the UEFA Champions League final project management team, representing the interests of the sponsors and supporting the development and implementation of the promotional plan for the final.


Paul McGuiness


Paul McGuinness spent 11 years at Manchester United's Academy with more than a quarter of a century's service in a number of youth coaching roles.


Paul was in charge of United side that went on to claim the FA Youth Cup in 2011. The 2011 winning team included Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison, while Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley emerged under the guidance of McGuiness.


Having overseen 86 Academy players develop to make their debut for the first team and 23 to become full internationals Paul has moved on from United and works as a football consultant and we are delighted to have him attend and share his views and experiences on player development.


Stuart Ferrier


Stuart has moved form Head of Coaching and Volunteering to Performance Pathway and Talent Manager at sportscotland’s Institute of Sport where he enjoys the challenge of cultivating competitive advantage in our sporting system.


As someone who believes passionately that a sporting habit enriches life and for the last twenty five years coaching has been a constant in his life. Stuart has combined coaching with education in Sport Science and Educational Psychology and in a professional capacity has worked as professional coach and a coach developer before moving to leadership roles.


His previous roles at sportscotland and Edinburgh Leisure have helped shape his view on coaching, player and people development.


Gavin Levey


Gavin has worked full time in football coaching roles for over 15 years with 3 SPFL clubs, having spent the last 10 years at Aberdeen FC.


In his role of Head of Academy Coaching, he is responsible for overseeing the development of the players and coaches, with a particular emphasis on developing a performance environment to help maximise individual potential.


Along with a BSc Honours Degree in Sports Coaching, Gavin holds the UEFA A Licence, Elite Youth A Licence and the Advanced Children’s Licence and has spent a number of years studying and learning from top Academies across Europe.


Steven Sweeney


Formerly a Physical Education Teacher and Scottish FA Football Development Officer, Steven moved from St Mirren to Aberdeen in 2013.


Off the pitch at Pittodrie, Steven takes the lead for the growth and development of Aberdeen FC’s Partner Charity, Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT).


Steven uses his understanding of how a Football Club can be utilised as a neutral community asset, combined with his knowledge of Sports Development & Physical Activity to create partnerships, develop stakeholder relationships and engage with supporters for Aberdeen FC.