This week marks another new destination in the reach of the Scottish FA’s Football Development Department as Donald Gillies, Business and Development Manager, travels to Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.

Donald, who is responsible for furthering relationships internationally through the Scottish FA’s highly-respected football development experience, departs from Scotland tomorrow to deliver coach education that will hopefully pave the way for the further development of the sport in the country.

Last September he was approached by Martin Myers of Adventure Kicks, a football development and tourism company operating in Mongolia, about potentially supporting the Mongolians in coach education and player development. ??

David Scott, the Honorary Consul for Mongolia in Scotland, also attended the meeting and conveyed the passion and love of the game in the country but also the difficulties they face.
Temperatures can reach 40c in the summer and as low -40c in the winter,  meaning that there is not much time for the 11-a-side season, forcing many fixtures to be played indoors. Martin and David explained the need for support and invited Donald to visit Mongolia to begin discussions on how to help.

Donald said: “It was not the first place that I thought I would be travelling to that is for sure, but Martin and David - along with Scotland and Rangers legend Willie Henderson - really conveyed their enthusiasm and thirst for football knowledge.

“I am looking forward to getting onto the pitch and seeing how we can help.”

Donald will meet with the Mongolian Football Federation and Premier League to discuss how the Scottish FA can help grow the game and provide them with the lasting tools to progress.

The visit to Mongolia follows on from the Scottish FA’s presence at the NAASC Convention in Philadelphia earlier in January, in which Jim Fleeting and Donald Park delivered practical sessions featuring content from a range of Scottish FA coach education courses, and meet a cohort of Scottish coaches currently plying their trade in North America.