The newly appointed Scotland National Coach Gordon Strachan hailed the Scottish FA’s School of Football programme as “a fantastic opportunity for boys and girls to improve as players and people”.

Strachan - capped 50 times for Scotland - dropped into his former school, Craigroyston Community High School in Edinburgh, to offer advice and deliver a coaching session for the S1 and S2 pupils who are currently involved in the programme.

Schools of Football , funded by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities Fund,  develop the social and academic skills of boys and girls during their first and second year of high school.

Craigroyston is one of 22 Schools of Football across the country and is run by local football club Spartans.

Strachan,a Patron of Spartans, said: “It’s been fantastic coming back to my old school to gain an insight into the School of Football Programme.”

The Schools of Football are about more than just playing football.  With the foundations underpinned by the Curriculum for Excellence, they aim to develop the pupils’ social and academic abilities through the vehicle of football.

Football is used to improve the learning environment within the school. In turn each pupil’s motivation to learn and develop is increased with the programme’s success being evaluated through factors such as school attendance and academic improvement.

 “This programme is a fantastic opportunity for the boys and girls involved to really improve, not only as a player but as a person as well. Sport, and football in particular, can play a massive part in the development of a young person and it can be used to teach them about discipline, respect and responsibility,” added Strachan.

“The players I worked with today were really focused and applied themselves throughout the session. There was a lot of talent on show as well which is great to see.”

The Scottish FA’s South East region’s player and coach development officer Chris Smith said: “We would also like to thank Gordon for giving up his time to come down and deliver a session for the players involved.

“The day as a whole was a resounding success and is something we would hope to replicate again in the future.”

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