Are you a talented young Scottish footballer who dreams of one day playing at Hampden Park for the national team?
Would you like to receive first class football training with your schoolwork alongside some of the most talented youngsters in the country?
If the answer to both these questions is 'yes' then you might wish to apply for a place at the Scottish FA's Performance Schools, which are currently receiving applications for the 2017/18 academic year.
Girls and boys due to start secondary school (S1) in August 2017 can apply now a place at one of seven Performance Schools across Scotland, which aim to develop excellent football players whilst also improving academic and social skills.
Performance School students receive daily football coaching during school hours, within an appropriate timetable developed by the school. In most cases one or two subjects are replaced with football coaching, which consists of four components: Technical Skills, Tactical Skills, Physical Skills and Mental Skills.
The SFA report that Performance School attendance rates are 3-5% higher than the average pupil, whilst recent graduates have also gained better academic results, with National 5s grades up 15% on average.
On the field, 15 Performance School graduates have so far gone on to sign for professional clubs in Scotland, whilst three youngsters have signed for Southampton, Swansea City and Norwich City respectively.
New SFA Performance Director Malky Mackay, who was appointed in December, said: “The Performance Schools is a tremendous initiative and has proved successful in its early stages with players already joining clubs in the English Premier League and in Scotland.
“These schools help children become more rounded men and women and will give them a better chance in life as well as developing their football skills, helping them on to a higher level.”
The seven Performance Schools are located in Aberdeen (Hazlehead Academy), Dundee (St John’s High School), Edinburgh (Broughton High School), Falkirk (Graeme High School), Glasgow (Holyrood Secondary School), Kilmarnock (Grange Academy) and Motherwell (Braidhurst High School).
To find out more or to apply for a place at the 2017/18 Performance Schools visit performance.scottishfa.co.uk. Applications are open to players eligible to play for Scotland who are entering S1 in August 2017 only. Deadline is 1 February 2017 for players at recreational clubs and 15 February 2017 for players already with a professional club.