Brian McClair and Stewart Regan welcomed the new intake of Scottish FA Performance School pupils to Hampden Park today.
Almost 100 young players were joined at the national stadium by their parents, performance coaches and school head teachers for the official induction to the programme.
They received words of encouragement from the Scottish FA Performance Director and Chief Executive before being enrolled at one of the seven Regional Performance Schools, where football education is part of the curriculum, a key area of the Scottish FA’s commitment to elite player development.
Seven coaches have been appointed to work in conjunction with the schools and the players’ clubs to enhance their technical skills at a key stage of their development.
Every year, each school will take up to 20 of the most talented under-12 players in their region – both boys and girls – and provide a minimum five extra coaching sessions focusing on skills development. Over a four-year period, this will provide the most talented young footballers throughout the country with an extra 800 sessions.
Now into the fourth year of the programme, Brian McClair believes the work undertaken at the Performance Schools will complement their club development and equip them with the necessary skills to thrive on and off the pitch.
“Firstly, it is about having fun and enjoying the experience: it is important each player in the Performance School programme appreciates the opportunity to play football as part of the curriculum,” he said.
“I am pleased that the feedback already from the first three years has been positive not only in skills development but educationally.
“For those here today, the message is to work hard, practice and never stop chasing your dream. The coaches will be on hand to support them throughout their journey, their teachers will be there to ensure the correct balance between football and study and I would like to thank every Head Teacher for their faith in what we are looking to achieve.
“Players will develop at different ages and stages but the over-riding philosophy of the Performance School environment is about developing skills on an individual basis.”
Stewart Regan, the Scottish FA Chief Executive, believes the success of the Performance Schools will be for the betterment of the whole game. “Our national coaches, Gordon Strachan and Anna Signeul, have spoken passionately about the need for young players to spend more quality time with the ball, developing their skills and technique. This philosophy is at the heart of the Regional Performance School programme.
“It is fitting that the induction takes place at Hampden Park: that is where every player in the Performance Schools should aspire to one day return to play for their country. We will work together with the clubs to give each young player the best opportunity possible to fulfil their potential.”
The seven Performance Schools and their coaches:
Braidhurst High School (Motherwell) - James Grady
Broughton High School (Edinburgh) - Greg Miller
Graeme High School (Falkirk) - Ian Ross
Grange Academy (Kilmarnock) - Andrew Goldie
Hazlehead Academy (Aberdeen) - Stuart Glennie
Holyrood Secondary School (Glasgow) - Brian McLaughlin
St John’s High School (Dundee) - Iain Jenkins
Little Big Shot
Little Big Shot is fuelling the football ambitions of Scotland’s most talented young players as the Official Healthy Energy Drink of the Performance Schools, and title sponsor of the prestigious Little Big Shot Youth Cup. Find out more at
For more information on the Scottish FA Performance Schools and the overall Performance Strategy, visit