52 of the best young footballers in Scotland were inducted into the prestigious Scottish FA JD Performance Schools programme during a ceremony at Hampden Park.

Radio Clyde’s Superscoreboard host Gordon Duncan hosted the eighth intake of the programme with Performance Director Malky Mackay beginning the day with an inspirational opening speech to detail the exciting opportunity the youngsters have.

Afterwards Performance School Manager Brian McLaughlin talked to the family members in attendance through what they can expect.

They also had the chance to ask some of the national youth team coaches questions about what lies ahead.

The programme, which encompasses seven schools across the country has already proved to be successful with the Performance Schools producing the youngster ever debutants for Aberdeen, Dundee United and Scotland Under-21s.



After an extensive research process, each school has selected a small number of under-12 players to join the programme.

Over a four-year period, this will provide the most talented young footballers throughout the country with an extra 800 hours of coaching.

Performance Schools pupils were shown to have a 4.5 per cent higher attendance rate compared to the school average, as well as 9.5 per cent higher National 5 results.

After the induction, Brian McLaughlin said: “After going through a tough selection process, today was a brilliant day for all of the youngsters who have been accepted into the programme.

“Today was about saying well done and wishing them all the best for the next four years.

“This is a programme I’m incredibly proud to be in charge of and I can see the difference it’s making to our young players.

“Having been involved in the Performance Schools from the start it’s brilliant to see the players develop before leaving the programme.

“It’s at that point that the programme becomes so important as we can offer them additional support when they go full-time.

“That relationship they’ve built with their coach at their school says with them for life and will be hugely important.

“The coaches we have are fantastic with a huge amount of experience internationally and in the Premier League.

“The programme has delivered in terms of successful graduates. We now have 11 players who have made their first team debuts.

"That is a brilliant statistic and something we’re determined to build on, and with this latest intake of talented young players, I’m sure we will."