Other News (49)
(picture, Sky Sports)
The new Scottish FA Performance Director Malky Mackay has outlined plans to increase the standards of players in youth academies throughout Scotland, as Project Brave, the Scottish FA’s development plan, begins to come into effect.
One of the biggest proposals is to reduce the number of elite academies across the Scotland, with the target being to reduce the current total of 29 down to 16. The number of elite players is also a concern, with Mackay aiming to take the total number down from just under 3000 to just over 1000 players. Some clubs may lose their elite status as a result of the proposal, as Mackay aims to maintain the very best standards.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Mackay said: “The 19-21 year olds, that where we are finding a problem. The elite youngsters are not getting enough football, they are not getting the chance to become prepared enough to become Scotland players, and first-team players for their club. I think that’s something that everybody has highlighted, and it is about how we fix that.”
He added: ““The markers that clubs are having is ‘how many first team players have come through their club, how many have gone out on loan, and how many have become Scottish internationals?’”
Other plans that Mackay wishes to implement is the return of reserve leagues within Scottish football, a league which has been defunct within the country since 2009. Amongst this, the former Cardiff City manager proposes the introduction of Fustal throughout Scotland during the winter months.
Mackay also spoke about the number of Scottish players currently playing first-team players in the country, and believes we could start to see the numbers improve: “In England last weekend, 30% of players in the Premier League last weekend were English, in a country of 60 million, and that’s how few English players were playing. A lot of countries have had various times in their history where they have struggled with this, we have also done that, and I think we have come out of the other side.
“We still have to strive to make our youngers players better, and get them playing competitive football against eachother at a high level.”
Mackay was speaking at schools throughout Scotland, as he outlined the plan to numerous young players around the country. The message is clear; keeping the very best players playing at the highest level possible, against the best opponents possible.
Youth Football Scotland and Grassroots Media attended the UK & Ireland Freestyle Championships at the SoccerexFF. On Sunday 6th of September, the final 16 battled it out to be crowned champions and we were there to catch all the action.
Featured are Scottish freestylers Gregor Russell, Gavin McKinney, and Scotland's number one, David Mennie. We also spoke to 14-year-old Griffin Berridge and John Farnworth, who holds five world records and completed the entire London marathon while keeping up a ball.
We also spoke to one of the judges of the championship and 4FREESTYLE founder and CEO Tobias Becs. He spoke to us about his role as a judge and about the 4FREESTYLE brand and its quest to support the freestyle community.
You can also see the jaw-dropping skills of the top three freestylers in 2015 in the form of Tom Folan, Daniel Dennehy, and of course the World and UK & Ireland champion himself, Andrew Henderson.