The inaugural Scottish FA Sports Science and Medicine Conference will take place at Heriot Watt University on Sunday, 3 December.

It offers a rare chance for the sports science and medicine community in Scottish football to come together, exchange ideas and benefit from the expertise of the speakers around the topic of ‘the challenges of managing sports science and medicine within a performance environment’.

The programme, put together by Scottish FA Head of Football Science and Medicine Graeme Jones, will also allow attendees to have their say on the day.

Thanks to a tie-up with Open Audience, the conference will be an interactive experience with regular polls.

Chaired by Scottish FA Chief Medical Consultant and National Teams Doctor Dr John MacLean, the event will kick off with a talk from Grant Downie, Head of Performance (Academy) at Manchester City on ‘lessons learned in practice north and south of the border over 30 years.

Neil Gibson, Director of Sport, Performance and Health at Oriam, will pick up from there with a discussion on ‘developing an effective department’.

Dr Stephen Boyce and Oliver Davies, Doctor and Physiotherapist at Scottish FA and Scottish Institute of Sport, will present on ‘managing conflict: coach and the medical team’. 

After a summary of the morning’s events from Dr MacLean, Dr Derick Macleod – Medical Doctor with Team Sky and Scottish FA National Teams Doctor – will lecture on ‘Re-Cycling Success’ before passing the baton to Jack Nayler.

The Head of Sports Science at Celtic will expand on the subject of ‘taking the show on the road: the challenges of a first team environment in different countries’.

Scottish FA Performance Director Malky Mackay – who spoke at Thursday’s Convention - will deliver a talk on ‘delivering best practice’ before the day wraps up.

Speaking ahead of what promises to be a fascinating and insightful day, Jones said: “I’m grateful that so many leaders in their respective fields have enthusiastically agreed to appear at the Scottish FA’s inaugural Sports Science and Medicine Conference.

“The day is designed to develop the working practice at all levels of Scottish football, with particular emphasis on addressing the modern day challenges all practitioners face when working in football, be it at international, first team or youth level. 

“I am particularly looking forward to observing the learning effect delegates achieve through the combination of what Open Audience provide their modern conferencing expertise and the information the speakers can share in an informative and interactive manner.

“The Scottish FA have invested heavily in our Performance programme but the journey of improvement never stops. This is a great chance to evaluate where we are and where we should look to push on.

“This conference has been fully funded by the Scottish FA, ensuring it is free for the attendees in this first year.”