One National Plan – Scotland's grassroots football vision

A historic agreement on the future development of the non-professional game in Scotland has been made by all bodies involved in grassroots football.

For the first time, all Affiliated National Associations (ANA) and member leagues that lead the non-professional game have agreed to One National Plan – a strategy to ensure that the country’s most popular participatory sport continues to develop.

The vision of the plan is to grow the national game through developing a culture of improved performance at all levels, to take the game to a wider audience and expand on the benefits, enjoyment and value football can bring to everyone across the country.

There are six main objectives of the plan:

1. To increase participation
2. To create an attractive modern game
3. To improve coach education and development
4. To create a vibrant volunteer workforce
5. To develop club and school football
6. To produce more talented young players

The Non-Professional Game Board (NPGB) will drive this plan forward within a culture of unity and collaboration, and by bringing together a range of partners and people who share in the passion for improving and growing the game.

Watch the Scottish FA’s exclusive video on the One National Plan where SFA Head of Regional Development Andy Gould and Ross Reddiex of Mill United and Lanarkshire Football Development Association – affiliated to the Scottish Youth FA – explain how it will benefit the grassroots game.

Scottish FA football development director Jim Fleeting said: “The One National Plan is a significant step forward in the development of our grassroots game.

“It is the product of a fantastic collaboration between all bodies involved in the non-professional game, and sets out a unified vision for how grassroots football can grow.

“Football has the capacity to be a wonderful force for good in communities across Scotland and I believe this One National Plan encapsulates all of the fine work being done to ensure grassroots football has a bright future.”

Members of the NPGB and Scottish FA have collaborated since 2011 to produce the plan following an extensive period of consultation with those involved nationwide in grassroots football.

These ANAs and member leagues are the East of Scotland League, Scottish Amateur FA, Scottish Junior FA, Scottish Schools’ FA, Scottish Welfare FA, Scottish Women’s Football, Scottish Youth FA and South of Scotland League.

By 2015, the SFA’s stated outcomes from the plan are:

* 130,000 registered players
* 600 Quality Mark Clubs
* 20,000 registered volunteers
* 14,000 coaches developed
* 3,300 registered referees
* A facility strategy with 70% goals delivered
* A Positive Coaching Scotland Plan integrated nationwide which improves the culture of the Scottish game
* 1,152 Talented Young Players involved in 36 2020 Development Centres

You can view the One National Plan in full on the SFA website.


Have your say on Scotland’s new One National Plan

If you play your football north of the border – or even if you don’t – we’d love to hear what you think of Scotland’s new vision for grassroots football. Let us know your thoughts in the comments field below.

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. anthony on May 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    My Opinion:

    1. The switch over from non-competitive to competitive is too early , I believe it is 12 year olds currently. This should
    start at 15 – 16 year olds.

    2. A five-a-side league should be run in conjunction with a 11-a-side league, this would primarily
    for kids that do not want to participate in 11-a-side or who need more development as I feel
    there are too many kids looseing interest when it goes to 11-a-side.

    3. The leagues should be moved to summer time, 12 weeks each side of July and August. Why, ? well the pitches are better
    at this time of year and the kids are not playing in sometimes in miserable weather.

    4. Professional clubs should leave the talented players with their clubs. They should help the coaches
    of the clubs to bring on the players and use them as feeder clubs for the professional teams. Too many times
    young talented players are dropped too quicly from the professional set-up.

  2. vivek on May 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I always thought the more football kids played the better they become as players and socially. Their fitness and skills have to be developed in one or two hours a week when the recommended time is 5 times that. Unfortunately the SYFA does not allow the youngsters in the grassroots teams to play for more than one team thus sometimes restricting them to train and play matches only once a week. The kids in pro-youth set ups of the same age train 3 times a week and play twice a week with high grade coaches so the gulf continues to grow and the grassroots kids develop other interests and are lost to the game.
    Until this disparity is corrected there will always be an unequal opportunity for them to develop to their full potential and the country will continue to lose talent without even knowing about it.

  3. Dud on May 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Mr Brooking and co please note the English FA are just so far behind it is untrue. Allowing yourselves to bow to the pressures of the premier league but not removing age barriers and effectively stopping good coaches developing kids by allowing the rich clubs to set up category 1 academies has meant even more kids born September / October / November are moved into the category 1 system with little or no understanding from pro clubs.
    I have recently heard of a category 1 academy that dropped loads of under 8′ s that were coincidently born in the summer only to come back and say we now have some extra money to develop summer born babies. What do they do with them ? they put them straight into training with academy boys in the same age group. Surely they need to be with kids of their own age ie the year below born at the academic year.
    They voted the age barriers out and are now trying to make it look like they are changing but cant quite grasp why the rules they voted were changing.
    Well done Scottish FA.

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