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The importance of nutrition and diet is a key topic for pupils attending the Scottish FA’s newly established 2020 Development Centres.

Players from the centre in East Dunbartonshire attended a workshop presented by lifestyle coach Andy Lynch which focussed on fuelling for performance, hydration and attitudes to food.

The centres provide players in primary five, six and seven the opportunity to begin their journey through the Association’s performance pathway.

The Scottish FA’s strategic plan, Scotland United: A 2020 Vision, includes a performance strategy to nurture the country’s best players and establish a clear pathway into the Scotland National Teams. The 2020 Development Centres are a crucial first step on this pathway.

Scott Sweeney, a player at the centre, said: “I have never really thought about the food I eat and how it helps me to play football well.

I just usually eat and drink the things that I like, but I am definitely going to start to think more about what I eat and when, because I really want to improve at playing football.”

Scottish FA coach Scott Murray said: “Hopefully the players will now be equipped with basic knowledge on their diet, and hopefully we have encouraged them to start thinking about making the right choices if they are serious about their sport.”

The 2020 Development Centre programme involves weekly two-hour training sessions over a 36 week period. The coaches delivering the programme provide relevant and challenging content each week in line with with the following session framework:

- Dynamic warm-up activity including speed and agility training

- Micro training sessions to fine-tune technique

- Game-related practices with a focus on possession

- Micro training sessions to fine-tune technique

- Game-related practices with a focus on positioning  

- Game play and coaching in the game

In addition to the weekly training sessions, players receive:

- A homework programme of creative player activities

- Twice yearly player assessments

- Individual practices to develop their strengths and improve weaknesses

- Educational presentations on diet and nutrition and speed development