Scottish FA performance coach Ian Jenkins is determined to impart the knowledge he gained from some of football’s biggest names onto pupils at the Performance School within Hazelhead Academy in Aberdeen.
Jenkins – who played under the likes of Howard Kendall, Joe Jordan and Jim McLean - is coaching some of the most talented young players in northern Scotland at the Granite City school.
“I was lucky enough to work under some of the best coaches in British football,” he said.
“I have had a good career as a player and learned important like skills such as discipline and respect.
“I see the Performance School as an opportunity to give something back.”
More than £15m has been committed over the next four years by the Scottish FA, with more than 100 of the country’s most promising male and female footballers benefiting from technical, tactical and lifestyle development by specially appointed Scottish FA coaches.
Pupils will receive 90 minutes of football coaching on top of their normal school curriculum.
Term began last week and Jenkins - a former Everton Academy coach and St Mirren assistant manager – said he was impressed with the attitude displayed by his pupils.
“There was a long selection process before we were able to find the right kind of player,” he said.
“I believe we have a set of players here who are eager to learn.
“They have responded well to what we have said is expected of them.
“The first term is about establishing positive working relationships and settling the pupils into the curriculum.
“I believe this programme will produce players with the right mental and technical attributes that are required of top-class footballers.
“I want these players to play with freedom and feel they can express themselves without fear of criticism.
“The Scottish FA’s Performance Strategy aims to produce players who can play football the right way.
“It is an honour to be working in this pioneering programme.”
You can see what Scotland stars Darren Fletcher and Ifeoma Dieke think of the Performace Schools here.