The Scottish FA has today launched the search for the next roster of Scottish FA JD Performance School programme participants, with the application process for the 2019 intake now open.
Aimed at developing the country’s most talented young players whilst simultaneously increasing their academic and social skillset, the Performance School programme has been a staple of the Scottish FA’s performance pathway since its inception in 2012.
Participants at each of the seven Performance Schools will receive an extra 800 hours of coaching over a four-year period, with pupils training for up to 90 minutes per day as part of a balanced academic timetable that develops each player both on and off the pitch.
Previous participants in the programme are already making their mark in a Scotland jersey, with Billy Gilmour and Chris Hamilton included in the Scotland Under-21 squad that finished fourth at last year’s Toulon Tournament, whilst 12 of the inaugural Scotland Under-18 squad came through the Performance School system.
#ThrowbackThursday | On 17/12/17 @harrycochrane01 became the first Scottish FA JD Performance School graduate to score a senior professional goal also making him @JamTarts youngest ever goalscorer. Still only 17, Harry has now made 28 apps in a Hearts jersey. https://t.co/BFkYO8bMiw— Scottish FA JD Performance Schools (@PerformSchools) January 10, 2019
Scottish FA JD Performance School Manager Brian McLaughlin encouraged any eligible young footballer to apply.
“It’s a massive opportunity for any young player,” he said.
“The best players in Europe, and indeed the world, are being coached for longer in their youth, so the Performance School programme is hugely important for us.
“Helping to develop the pupils off the pitch, too, allows them to further develop as players. One of the biggest positives that we’ve found over the past seven years is the high grades our students are achieving in their National 5 exams. They’ve got to work hard and that focus and determination translates onto the pitch.
“It’s a really well-rounded programme and a terrific opportunity.”
To qualify for the 2019 intake, pupils must be entering S1 in August 2019 and be eligible to play for Scotland.
The seven Scottish FA JD Performance Schools are:
Hazlehead Academy (Aberdeen)
St John’s High School (Dundee)
Broughton High School (Edinburgh)
Graeme High School (Falkirk)
Holyrood Secondary School (Glasgow)
Grange Academy (Kilmarnock)
Braidhurst High School (Motherwell)