All four of the home associations’ national coaches joined forces at Hampden Park this month as part of the Scottish FA’s Coach Education programme.
Roy Hodgson (England), Chris Coleman (Wales) and Michael O’Neill (Northern Ireland) joined the Scotland national coach Gordon Strachan in presenting to the current Scottish FA Pro Licence participants on the pressures and responsibilities of top-flight management.
The day culminated in a Question and Answer session with more than 100 graduates from the Scottish FA’s Coach Education programme.
Gordon Strachan, Scotland national coach said: “I was fortunate to have played under some of the best coaches around for club and country: Sir Alex Ferguson, Jock Stein, Howard Wilkinson and Ron Atkinson among them.
"When you are involved day-to-day you don’t have time to discuss coaching in any detail which is why events like today are such a great idea. I could have listened to Roy Hodgson talk about his career all night."
England coach Roy Hodgson said: “When Jim Fleeting called to ask if I was available I had absolutely no hesitation. I believe that you never stop learning as a coach and there is a responsibility on all of us who have been fortunate enough to make a career out of coaching to help the next generation by sharing our experiences.”
Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill said: “I was fortunate enough to learn from some great coaches during my playing career and that helped me in the early stages of my coaching. I believe these sessions are invaluable for everyone: the coaches who attended will have learned from the likes of Roy and it is also a great opportunity to share best practice.”
Wales national coach Chris Coleman said: “As a young coach I couldn’t learn enough from listening and speaking to experienced coaches who had encountered many different and difficult challenges. Sharing that experience is vital and I was delighted to accept this invitation to help, in some small way, the development of the next generation of coaches.”
The attendance of all four home association coaches was a major coup for the Scottish FA’s Director of Football Development, Jim Fleeting.
“Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to all four of the national coaches for making the time in their busy schedules to come along and provide such wonderful insight to our coaches," said Fleeting.
“All four have reached the top of their profession and each told a unique and fascinating story on their particular coaching journey. That kind of opportunity is invaluable for those who aspire to be young coaches and it was great to hear all four speak to frankly and eloquently on the challenges they have encountered on their way to the top.”