The diversity of the Scottish FA’s Peformance Strategy is no better illustrated than by the creation of new development centre in the north-west of England.

Based at Moorland Private School in Clitheroe, the centre has been formed to host regular sessions for players who are eligible to play for Scotland but based in England between the ages of nine and 13. 

Its location is ideally placed to cover a catchment area including Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, and the centre has attracted players from youth academies as Everton, Preston North End and Stoke City. 

The centre performs a similar function to the 2020 Centres which are in operation throughout Scotland; to complement and support the work of clubs to develop players.

Neil Mackintosh, Performance Development Manager at the Scottish FA, said: “We’re delighted to launch the Development Centre at Clitheroe, which allows us to see and work with top quality, young eligible Scottish players.

“The standard has been excellent and we look forward to working with the clubs within the region in contributing to their development in the years to come. 

"Our centre in the north-west of England fits perfectly into the Scottish FA’s Performance Strategy; it serves both as a way of identifying talent early on whilst also creating a 'Best vs Best' environment.

Scotland national youth teams coach Ricky Sbragia recently visited the centre, and he was impressed with what he witnessed.

Sbragia said: “The Development Centre at Clitheroe really is excellent for us.

“We’ve established great partnerships with clubs in the region, which has helped us identify eligible Scotland players.

"I visited a training session at Clitheroe recently and I was extremely impressed by the facilities, the coaching and the quality of football that was on show.

"Credit must go to the parents, who support the players by helping make the training sessions, and the players who have shown great commitment, enthusiasm and skill."