A closer look at the recent Performance School success stories

The Scottish FA JD Performance Schools were well represented in the last weekend of the Premiership season as five players featured for their clubs in the last weekend of the Premiership season.

Chris Hamilton, Harry Cochrane, Connor Smith and Anthony McDonald all featured for Hearts, meanwhile Dean Campbell contributed to Aberdeen’s 1-0 victory over Celtic.

Entering its seventh year, the Scottish FA JD Performance School programme works with seven Performance Schools across the country to deliver an extensive, challenging programme for the country’s most talented young footballers.

The Scottish FA employs seven full-time Performance Youth Coaches who have responsibility for the delivery of the programmes in each school.

With the end of term in sight, focus is beginning to turn to the latest induction in August with the trial process now complete.

68 places have been offered following an in depth process involving 22 trials, seven parents evenings, 12 club meetings and 500 applications.

All players who have been accepted have met the key performance indicators required of possessing technical proficiency on both sides, agility, quality decision-making as well as work rate and a love of the game.

Youth teams review

Men’s Under-19s

For the first time the Scotland Under-19s had Performance School involvement with three graduates included in their latest Elite Round matches.

Zach Rudden, Jonny Mitchell and Matthew Shields all featured in Donald Park’s side who lost against Germany and overcame The Netherlands 2-0. Their hopes ended in the final game following a thrilling match against Norway where they lost 5-4.

Men’s Under-17s

13 Performance School pupils were involved in the under-17s Elite Round in March where former Holyrood Secondary coach Brian McLaughlin took charge for the three matches.

Performance School graduate, Dapo Mebude scored the winning goal against Germany in a historic victory.

Scotland failed to progress however, losing to both Greece and Norway.

In the build up to the tournament, Scotland recorded two impressive wins over Poland and Spain. In the win over the Spanish, Hazlehead Academy graduate Dean Campbell scored both goals in a 2-1 win.

Scotland Women’s Under-19s

In the UEFA Women’s Under-19s elite round, there were two Performance School graduates involved in the shape of Sam Kerr and Leah Eddie.

Over the course of the three games in Scotland, Scotland lost against Italy and Czech Republic, drawing to Russia.

In the defeat to Italy, Sam Kerr gave Scotland the lead after just one minute.

Scotland Women’s Under-17s

Abby Callaghan, Sara McWhirter, Taylor Hamill were all selected by Pauline MacDonald to compete against France, Sweden and Finland in the UEFA Qualifying Round in March, where Scotland lost out.

Performance School Graduate ready for American adventure

Grange Academy graduate Gavin Scott is about to embark on an adventure on a scholarship in USA having featured for Stranraer this season.

Read the full interview

Keith Wright appointed as Broughton High School Performance School coach

Earlier this year, Keith Wright was appointed as the new Scottish FA JD Performance School coach for Broughton High School in Edinburgh, replacing Greg Miller who became Head of Coaching at Barnsley FC.

The former striker initially made his name with Raith Rovers before moving to Dundee.

He won the Challenge Cup with the Dark Blues ahead of securing a dream move to boyhood heroes Hibernian.

The Edinburgh native inspired the Hibees to League Cup success, won his one and only Scotland cap and became a firm favourite with supporters until he booked a return to Stark’s Park.

Spells with Greenock Morton, Stenhousemuir and Cowdenbeath followed before Keith was tempted into management for the first time – succeeding Craig Levein as boss of the Blue Brazil.

After leaving Central Park, Keith enjoyed a stint as youth coach at Livingston before finding a long-term home with Midlothian council as Scottish FA Football Development Officer.
Performance Player Pathway

Find out more about our Performance Player Pathway, showing the journey's of some of our JD Performance School pupils and graduates so far.