GORDON Strachan was joined by Roy Hodgson, Chris Coleman and Michael O’Neill at Hampden yesterday as all four of the Home Associations’ national coaches joined forces as part of the Scottish FA’s coach education programme.
The quartet gave a presentation to SFA 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 programme.
Strachan, who was appointed Scotland manager last month and started his reign with a 1-0 win over Estonia, 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.”
The attendance of all four coaches was a major coup for the SFA’s director of football development, Jim Fleeting. He said: “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. 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.”
England manager 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.”
O’Neill added: “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.”
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.”