So far this year, the latest Pro Licence coaching cohort have learnt from Roy Hodgson, undertaken a media training course and been behind the scenes at a Scotland camp in the lead up to a FIFA World Cup Qualifier.
The UEFA Pro Licence diploma covers all aspects of football coaching and management, operating on a two-year cycle over an 18-month period.
The Scottish FA have delivered the course since 1999, with previous graduates going on to coach at international level, in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
Last week the group were across in Poland, attending the UEFA European Under-21 Championship Finals in Poland where Aberdeen coach Barry Robson attended and documented what went on for the Scottish FA.
Over the course of their time in Poland, they took in four games, learned about in-depth analysis techniques and paid a visit to Auschwitz.
Robson analyses Under-21 championship experience
Last week we were out in Poland for the Under-21 Euros where we analysed the four games we attended and also learned about the work done by analysts as well as doing roleplay presentations which put me out my comfort zone.
We were put into teams before watching a game and prepping a presentation which we had to show to the rest of the group.
We do analysis every day at Aberdeen but this was up a level and showed us exactly what a manager would have to do, picking out select information highlighted by the analysts and showing the players in a way they’d understand.
We attended four games over the days we were there and the event itself was very impressive. It was classed as an under-21 tournament but with the way it works, some of them are aged 23 so they are verging on being capped for their country. It was a better standard than a normal under-21 tournament.
We also went to Auschwitz which was a humbling experience for everyone. The mood coming back was really sombre but it was a great experience and was certainly an eye opener.
I feel I’ve developed as a coach since I’ve started the course and given a different slant on a number of things that I do day-to-day with Aberdeen.
I was delighted to see Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty stay at the club this summer despite interest from elsewhere. They are great people to learn from and that’s why I took my job in the first place.
We did well last season and I’m now looking forward to pre-season. We started back on Monday and have done a lot of testing. We are then spending a week in St Andrews, preparing for our first European game.
Going forward we’ve got more academic studies to be done such as learning a language. It’ll be difficult but something I’m looking forward to.