SFA performance centre to be chosen soon

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THE three candidates to host the Scottish Football Association’s first National Performance Centre will learn shortly which of them will be recommended for acceptance.

Dundee, Edinburgh and 
Stirling are the three venues on the list, and the governing body’s working party, chaired by SFA chief executive Stewart Regan, is expected to forward its recommendation to the 
Scottish Government in the next few days.

“There are three centres proposed, and a £25 million investment,” SFA president Campbell Ogilvie said yesterday. “There will be a decision fairly soon.

“That is another major step. There has been a lot happening over the past two years, but we have been trying to take the game forward and focused on the performance side.”

Ogilvie was speaking after making the draw for the first round of the Scottish Cup along with tennis coach Judy Murray, mother of Wimbledon champions Jamie and Andy Murray, and her father Roy Erskine, a former player with Hibernian, Stirling Albion, Peebles Rovers and Cowdenbeath.

The first match to be drawn was a capital derby between Edinburgh University and Spartans, but other ties paired clubs from opposite ends of the country. Wick Academy, for example, will travel to Coldstream, while Wigtown & Bladnoch are at home to Buckie Thistle.

Ogilvie said that, even in a time of financial difficulty in the game, clubs were not in favour of any attempt to regionalise the draw in the early rounds of the cup.

“It has been discussed, but the clubs won’t do it,” he explained. “The thing about the Scottish Cup is anybody can play anybody at some point. I do not see it being regionalised.”