St John High School in Dundee is home to “exceptional football talent” , according to Scottish FA performance coach Ray McKinnon.
The school is home to a Scottish FA performance school where 12-year-old pupils will receive four years of specially designed coaching with six and half hours of training each week.
More than £15m has been committed over the next four years by the Scottish FA, with more than 100 of the country’s most promising male and female footballers benefiting from technical, tactical and lifestyle development by specially appointed Scottish FA coaches at seven schools across the country.
First term began last week and former United midfielder Ray has liked what he has seen so far.
“I’ve been very impressed with the players,” he said. “They are exceptional pupils which is what we were looking for in the six month period it took to select the players.
“Their determination and drive is fantastic and I hope it continues throughout the four year programme.”
Pupils from as far as Fife, Perth and Stonehaven are making the journey each day to the school to receive the elite training.
Each school in the programme has a commitment to making football part of the daily curriculum, designed to double the number of sessions for pupils and help them strive for the gold standard of 10,000 hours of practice.
Scottish FA performance director Mark Wotte has said he would like to see players who have come through this system competing in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
“I wish I had this when I was 12,” Ray said. “There are no guarantees but I do believe these schools are providing the platform for players to become top professionals.
“I see it as an privilege to be working in this pioneering project within Scottish football which could have a lasting positive effect.”