Wotte sure SFA’s schools project will bring success
Mark Wotte has highlighted the success of the Team GB cycling team in this summer’s Olympics as being proof of what can happen when there is long-term commitment to elite talent development.
Alongside the national team manager Craig Levein, the Scottish Football Association performance director yesterday launched the SFA’s regional performance schools project. A sum of £15 million has been invested in the four-year scheme that Wotte hopes will help Scotland qualify for the World Cup finals in 2022. More than 100 boys and girls have made it through a series of football festivals to become the first intake of pupils at seven peformance schools, located in Motherwell, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dundee. The pilot school, Falkirk’s Graeme High, has already had some success with the emergence of Craig Sibbald and Paul McMullan, at Falkirk and Celtic respectively.
“The Olympics will inspire a generation,” said Wotte. “Football also has to inspire a new generation. It is so important to educate kids that being committed to a sport will give you a lot of values and positives. We have lost that a bit in Scotland.”
The focus at the seven schools will be on technical development and on cultivating a best-versus-best environment. Wotte pointed to Dave Brailsford’s masterminding of the Team GB’s huge success in cycling, with six-times gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy leading the way. Some have called for Brailsford, too, to be knighted. “The knighthood is not so impressive for me,” said Wotte. “The most striking thing is that [Brailsford] said that they started the work 15 years ago. We are late, again. But we have started. Henry McLeish, Stewart Regan and Craig Levein have recognised the problem and asked me to join. I have asked staff to join me to create a better performance stategy. Hopfeully they will give me a knighthood in 2024 as well.
“It’s not that we don’t know how to do it, we just have to do it. We are looking at individual player development. Whatever they do for cycling can be done for football. We are not developing team tactics or winning teams – we want our players to be part of winning teams, but most importantly we want them to be part of good performances. Until they are 18 or 19 it is all about performance.
“This will increase the chance of going to the Euros in 2020 and World Cup in 2022,” he added. “It’s getting tougher and tougher for Scotland to reach the finals due the fact not everything has been geared to developing players. Why is there only one James Forrest? Why not four or five? Why are Ajax, with nine academy players, winning 4-0 against Celtic, who have only one? It is a matter of patience and persistence.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east