After turning 16, highly-rated Performance School graduate Billy Gilmour has signed for Chelsea from Rangers.
Gilmour attended Grange Academy for four years and captained Scotland Under-16s in the 2016 Victory Shield at Oriam, Scotland’s national performance centre.
Having been involved with Rangers first team last season, he has since decided to move down south to the Stamford Bridge club after completing his exams in May.
Grange Academy is one of seven regional Performance Schools throughout Scotland that aim to develop the cream of Scotland’s young footballers.
The pupils marry their football education with their normal curriculum as part of the Scottish FA’s commitment to player development through its Performance Strategy.
Each school has a full-time coach to work in conjunction with the clubs and the school to enhance their technical skills at a key stage of their development and support the academic potential of the players.
Coaching takes place during school hours within an appropriate timetable developed by the school.
The programme is for boys and girls and runs from S1 to S4.
The seven partner schools are as follows:
Hazlehead Academy – Aberdeen
St John’s High School – Dundee
Graeme High School – Falkirk
Braidhurst High School – Motherwell
Broughton High School – Edinburgh
Holyrood Secondary School – Glasgow
Grange Academy – Kilmarnock
Gilmour officially signed for Chelsea today and spoke highly of the Performance School programme upon putting pen to paper.
He said: “I really enjoyed my four years at Grange Academy, meeting new friends and getting the best training every day.
“I came from Stanley Primary School in Ardrossan and the trials to get into Grange were really good, seeing a lot of familiar faces of guys I’ve played against. When I was picked, I was really happy and couldn’t wait to get started.
“The Performance Schools have helped me a lot, especially one on one sessions, focusing on my weaker foot, crossing and finishing. Andy Goldie and James Grady have helped me a lot.”
Reflecting on his decision to move to Chelsea, he said “It’s always been my dream to go to the Premier League and what better club to go to than the Champions?
“They have a very successful youth and I’ve always wanted to play best v best. All the best players are at Chelsea so I want to go to the highest standard and see where it takes me.”
Watch the full interview where he looks back on his time at Grange Academy, the media coverage he’s received and how he has learned from players such as Kenny Miller.