In the first Performance School Report Card of the year, we wish to share the achievements of the schools, players and staff involved in this exciting initiative.
The first quarterly Report Card documents the programme’s success from the first part of the year and there will be three more editions to document 2017.
In partnership with the Scottish FA, the seven Performance Schools have delivered an extensive, challenging programme for the country’s most talented young footballers.
The programme is for boys and girls and runs from S1 to S4.
The Scottish FA employs seven full-time Performance Youth Coaches who have responsibility for the delivery of the programmes in each school.
The seven partner schools are as follows:
Hazlehead Academy – Aberdeen
St John’s High School – Dundee
Graeme High School – Falkirk
Braidhurst High School – Motherwell
Broughton High School – Edinburgh
Holyrood Secondary School – Glasgow
Grange Academy – Kilmarnock
Freeman pens professional deal in England
Performance School graduate from St. John’s, Kieran Freeman signed a two-year deal for Southampton in April.
The 17-year-old right back moved from Dundee United last summer and is currently recovering from a knee injury.
After signing the deal, he said: "I've played a couple of games so far but once I am fully fit, I hope to play a lot next season and show everyone what I’m capable of.”
Also, John McCracken from Braidhurst High School signed a deal with Norwich City, fellow Braidhurst High School graduate Tom Leighton joined Watford and Jordan Elliot of Graeme High School signed for Swansea.
Men’s National squads
Scotland Under-17s men’s squad
Six Performance School pupils including Jonny Mitchell were involved for Scotland as they beat Montenegro 6-1, Serbia 1-0 and Switzerland 1-0 to qualify for their fourth successive European Finals with a record of played six, won six.
Ranked sixth in Europe, they went on to play Hungary, France and Faroe Islands in Croatia, exiting at the group stages.
Scotland Under-16s men’s squad
15 out of the 20 squad members were Performance School players as Scotland won their UEFA Development Tournament at Oriam at the end of February, beginning of March.
They recorded a 1-0 win over Croatia and a 2-1 victory over Iceland before sealing victory in the competition with a 5-3 win on penalties over Austria, having drawn 2-2 in normal time.
The UEFA Development Tournaments serve to provide under-16 national teams with experience as they prepare to compete in the 2018 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifiers which begin later in the year.
Scotland Under-15s men’s squad
28 players from Performance Schools were selected for a national training camp in January over two days at Oriam, overseen by Scotland youth coaches Brian McLaughlin and James Grady.
Women’s National squads
Scotland Under-17s women’s squad
Three pupils were selected in UEFA Elite Qualifying Round against Hungary, Republic of Ireland and Serbia.
Leah Eddie from Graeme High School, Jemma Marriot, former Braidhurst pupil and current Braidhurst pupil Sara McWhirter were involved as they drew against Hungary and Republic of Ireland but lost in the final game against Serbia.
Scotland Under-16s women’s squad
Leah Eddie and Sara McWhirter were joined by Philippa McCallum from St. John’s High School who played in a UEFA Development Tournament in February and won two games out of three.
After losing 2-1 to Austria, they then defeated Iceland, 3-0 and Czech Republic 2-0.
Four former and current Performance School coaches progress to management
The Scottish FA aims to give pupils the best coaching throughout their time in the seven Performance Schools. This is demonstrated by the notable success achieved by some of our former and current coaches.
Ian Cathro was a Performance School coach in 2011 and this season managed Hearts to a top six finish in Premiership. Ray McKinnon was involved during 2011/12 and managed Dundee United towards the Championship play-off final.
Mark Wilson was a Performance School assistant coach last year and managed Airdrie to the League One play-offs.
Meanwhile, current Broughton High School Performance School assistant coach Darren Dods managed Brechin to promotion to the Championship.
August 2017 intake confirmed
The section process for the 2017 intake started in January with an online application process on the Scottish FA website.
Applicants were then invited to a series of trials at one of our seven performance schools.
This year there were over 750 applications and after 21 trials, a two day festivals, 17 parents evenings and over 60 school reports. 49 players were offered a place and they will start in August.
The next Performance School report card will sum up all of the activities that have taken place over the summer including the graduation and the pupils latest achievements.