Scotland boss has advice for pupils as Scottish Regional Performance Schools kick off second year
Scotland national coach Gordon Strachan says that any young footballer wanting to improve must heed one simple lesson - practice.
Strachan was speaking at the launch of the second year of the Scottish FA's seven Regional Performance Schools, which opened their doors to another group of Scotland's best young footballers this month.
“I cannot emphasise enough the need for young Scottish footballers to practice as much as they can for as long as they can in the early years of their development," said Strachan.
“Becoming a professional footballer for me was the culmination of years of practice on the street, in the parks or with the school. While society has changed the most important ingredient in becoming a professional player remains the same – practice."
“That’s why I am delighted to speak to these young players and their parents to stress that, while they have an excellent opportunity, the work starts here.”
Over 200 of Scotland's most talented 11- to 13-year old (S1 and S2) boys and girls are already involved in the Performance Schools, which launched last year to provide specialist training to Scotland's elite youngsters alongside their normal schooling.
Pupils have benefitted from individual skills development, sports science and nutrition – all of which is incorporated into the educational curriculum - with a combined total of 100,000 practice hours, equating to an average of 472 hours per player.
Scottish FA Performance Director Mark Wotte said: “The Performance Schools are an essential part of our strategy and it is great to welcome in the latest young players to our schools.
“Already we have seen the benefits of the schools. An additional eight hours of football practice and skills development per week not only make players better, but the school teachers have also noted improvement in their grades."
Find out more about the SFA's Regional Performance Schools on the Scottish FA website.
Image courtesy of ScottishFA.co.uk