On Monday, 2 December five household names visited Oriam to speak to UEFA Pro, A and B Licence holders and candidates at the latest Scottish FA hosted CPD (Continued Professional Development) event.
Michael Beale, Scott Brown, Darren Fletcher, Scot Gemmill and Paul Scholes all presented to the group about the art of midfield play.
Members of the current Scottish FA UEFA Pro Licence cohort were joined by graduates of the course along with coaches who have completed, and are currently undergoing, the A and B Licence.
Attendees learning from the event included former Rangers striker Kris Boyd, Inverness Caledonian Thistle Manager John Robertson and former Hibernian midfielder Russell Latapy.
Rangers Assistant Coach Michael Beale gave an in depth presentation to the coaches in the morning before Scotland Under-21s head coach Scot Gemmill led a tactical session on the pitch at Oriam before lunch.
In the afternoon Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, Celtic captain Brown and former Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher all presented their ideas and thoughts on what makes the perfect midfielder and how the position has evolved.
The Midfield Masterclass was the third of the” position specific” coaching days, following on from the art of defending and another on striker play which have been delivered over the last two years.
Scottish FA Performance Director Malky Mackay said: “ I was keen to try and bring the best quality experts to Scotland, showcase their knowledge and really target key areas across the pitch.
“Having already focussed on defence and attack, an event like the Midfield Masterclass will hopefully fuel our coaches to go back to their clubs to impart further knowledge on our young players.
“I’d like to thank Michael Beale, Scott Brown, Darren Fletcher, Scot Gemmill and Paul Scholes for giving up their time and providing a fascinating insight which will only help to inspire us all.
“To have some of the best qualified coaches in the country all in one room, learning together, has made for a fantastic day and will only go to further improve our collaborative approach to coaching in Scotland.”
Scottish FA Head of Coach Education & Development Greig Paterson said: “Today allowed us to drill into a lot of detail on what it takes to be a world class midfielder.
“Michael Beale’s session was excellent in terms of informing everyone how he works with the midfielders at Rangers and then Scot Gemmill’s session on the pitch demonstrated how he works with the best young midfielders that Scotland has to offer in his role as Scotland Under-21s head coach.
“The afternoon session gave the platform for a panel discussion with three incredibly talented midfielders which will be invaluable for the coaches."
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes said: “Malky Mackay invited me up to Oriam today to share knowledge with the coaches in Scotland.
“A lot of clubs now do specific coaching for each position and that is vitally important.
“The midfield one is probably the most important as there are so many different positions such as a holding midfielder or attacking midfielder.
“When I was a midfielder I tried to get involved in everything, whether it was attacking or defending so there are so many different aspects to it.
“During the day I tried to pass on as much knowledge as I could while looking at some clips of when I played.
“Coaches are so crucial for the development of players. They are what made me a footballer. Guys like Eric Harrison, Nobby Stiles, Sir Alex Ferguson and Steve McLaren all made me the player I was.
“There are so many great Scottish coaches. It’s a massive footballing country and they definitely produce quality coaches so hopefully today’s session helped them improve their knowledge base.”