Scottish FA Performance Director Malky Mackay this week launched a pioneering new coach-mentoring programme, designed to prepare Scotland’s promising young coaches to take their career to the next level.
Some 80 coaches from throughout Scotland attended the two-day session at Oriam, the jewel in the crown of the Scottish FA’s performance strategy.
Attendees at this week’s programme, the first in a regular series of coach-mentoring sessions, were treated to expert training from top tier guest coaches on the Art of Defending.
Guest coach mentors this week included Dick Bate, the former Elite Coaching Manager at the Football Association, and Italian defence coach Fabrizio Piccareta, former assistant manager to Paolo di Canio at Sunderland and Swindon Town.
The Scottish coaches were also treated to an evening with Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who also delivered presentations on and off the pitch.
This is set to be the first of many in an ambitious programme that aims to grow year on year and attract more attendees.
Malky Mackay said: “It’s our duty to help the clubs with the ongoing mentoring process. Clubs are on a results-oriented hamster wheel every seven days and as a result they don’t have time to review their coaching plans. They need help with that.
“Through Club Academy Scotland I’ve been in contact with the clubs, who have asked me to come in and mentor their young coaches.
“Jim Fleeting and Donald Park will be the main thrust of that. Our national coaches will join them and I’ll also help mentor those young coaches.
“Our first two-day course was a success, with three top class guest speakers educating on the Art of Defending.
“In the next two or three months we will set up the next one. For the 80 coaches in attendance it will be extremely beneficial in the long run.”
Having Dick Bate, Fabrizio Piccareta and Sean Dyche educating the promising coaches of the future allowed all participants to learn about different aspects of the game, including running sessions and dealing with budgets.
Malky Mackay said: “Dick Bate is one of the best coach educators Britain has ever produced and was involved in writing the pro license course for the English FA.
“Fabrizio Piccareta is someone Jim Fleeting knows very well. He based his sessions this week on the current head coach of Napoli, who he’s worked with in the past.”
“Sean Dyche is a very successful Premier League manager in England. He has worked wonders at Burnley – the culture of that club is second to none and his philosophy on defending was particularly interesting.
“It was a terrific learning experience for our coaches.”