The Scottish FA were proud to play host to the latest UEFA Study Group.
Representatives from Armenia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro and Ukraine travelled to Aberdeen for a week of discussion around the UEFA Elite Youth A Licence.
Aberdeen and Hazlehead Academy rolled out the red carpet to the five delegates from each nation, who were able to see Scotland’s coach education theory demonstrated.
Amongst the visiting delegation, there was a familiar face in the form of Montenegro’s goalkeeping coach, Dragoje Lekovic, who was part of Kilmarnock’s 1997 Scottish Cup-winning side.
Sergiy Popov, who boasts 54 caps for Ukraine, was also in attendance in his role as Under-16 and Under-17 coach.
Scottish FA Head of Coach Education & Development Greig Paterson explained: “The aim of the Study Group was to concentrate on the UEFA Elite Youth A Licence.
“We are always very grateful to UEFA for the opportunity not only to host these study groups, but also to travel other countries, allowing us to discuss and exchange ideas, whilst benchmarking against best practice from other European countries.
“On this occasion, our guests were hosted by the North Region team, who had organised a fantastic week of activity and discussion.
“For the practical demonstrations, we were given full access to Aberdeen Football Club and Hazlehead Academy so they could see two of our graduates working in the field – Gavin Levey, Head of Academy Coaching at Aberdeen FC, and Stuart Glennie, who is one of our Performance School coaches.
“It was a great week. None of the visiting nations deliver the UEFA Elite Youth A Licence yet, so it was an interesting perspective for them that we have been doing it for a number of years, whilst we were also able to discuss ways in which we could make the course even better and the challenges we all encounter in implementing the course.
“They wanted to see and hear how we have delivered the course, our methodology in doing so, and Gavin and Stuart were able to demonstrate the work they are more equipped to do as UEFA Elite Youth A Licence graduates.
“Hopefully the exposure and experience from last week will empower the countries to put their own stamp on their course delivery.
“That said, it wasn’t a one-way conversation. Everyone mixed in well and a lot of good ideas were generated.
“It’s always interesting to hear what others do. We spoke about best practice and what it means in the different countries, as well as the good news stories that they each have in the implementation of their coach education pathways.
“We picked up a lot as well and there are things we might look to implement in order to keep improving.”