The latest intake of the Scottish FA-delivered UEFA Pro Licence course came together for the first time this past weekend, as coaches from across Scotland gathered at Hampden Park to officially begin the latest step in their professional journey.

Scottish FA Head of Football Development Andy Gould and Scotland Under-21 head coach Scot Gemmill were amongst those to deliver presentations to the students starting out on their road to European football’s most prestigious coaching award, which represents a significant milestone in a coach’s professional development.

Included in the 22-strong group are Scotland Under-17s head coach Brian McLaughlin and Scotland Women’s Under-17s head coach Pauline MacDonald, the pair studying for the award alongside their commitments to their respective squads.

Former Scotland internationals Russell Martin and Maurice Ross made a return to Hampden for the first block of the two-year course, alongside former Scottish football stalwarts Peter Lovenkrands and Jon Daly.

Also included in the class of 2019 are a brace of managers making an impact in the Scottish Championship – Stuart Kettlewell, co-manager of league leaders Ross County, joins Greenock Morton head coach Jonatan Johansson in enrolling on the programme.

“The quality of candidates we have on the course this year reflects the strength and reputation of the course we have in this country,” said Andy Gould, Head of Football Development at the Scottish FA.

“We are delighted to be able to offer an environment that promotes excellence and allows the students to share best practice methods, something that can only benefit them as they continue their professional development.

“We wish them the greatest of success and look forward to working with them over the duration of the course.”

Speaking following the first session, Scottish FA Head of Coach Education & Development Greig Paterson expressed his excitement about the ambition of the 2019 intake.

“It was a very tough application process for acceptance onto the course,” said Paterson.

“We received in excess of 80 applications and we’re allowed to offer only 20 places on the course, so we were delighted that UEFA allowed us to bring two more from the Icelandic FA as we continue our collaborative work with them.

“The backgrounds of the participants is testament to the globalized, welcoming nature of the Scottish game.

“These international players, having lived, played and learned within this country already, are now taking their learning of the game to the elite level on our Pro Licence course.  

“We’ve got a great mix of experiences within the group; it is very important to us that the group learn from each other as much as they will from the course curriculum, guest speakers and course tutors.

“We look forward to working with this group and seeing their progress over the next two years.”