Four coaches from the Scottish FA South East Region travelled to France recently to visit the French Football Federation's National Training Centre in Clairefontaine, south of Paris.
Clairefontaine has been instrumental in producing some of the top players in Europe in both the women’s and men’s game.
Regional club development manager David Drummond, City of Edinburgh football development officer Chris Roberts, office and events co-ordinator Aidan Forbes, and community coach Pam Livingston spent seven days in France to help review and develop the current Scottish FA regional squad programme.
The coaches, who work with the most talented young female players in the south east of Scotland, visited the National Training Centre to observe and discuss models of good practice both on and off the park.
The trip was led by Scotland women's national coach National Anna Signeul. Anna said: "This was a fantastic opportunity for our coaches to observe technical sessions at Clairfontaine as well as having the opportunity to exchange ideas and best practice with coaches working with the elite players in France. We spent some time with Bruno Bini, the national coach of the French women’s team, as well as hearing from development staff working across the country in the girls' and women's game."
The trip was funded as part of the Leonardo da Vinci project, which supports the education and development of the elite coaches who work with the most talented players throughout Scotland.
David Drummond said: "The trip was a fantastic experience for us. Whilst we have all come away from France with new and fresh ideas on how to develop our game back home, much of what the French are doing we have already implemented. One of the biggest lessons, however, is just how often their young players train. In Scotland, we seem to find it acceptable to train once or twice a week. French players of the same age train up to six times a week. Developing players with good technique is their number one goal".