This year’s UEFA Pro Licence participants were in the Scotland camp this week, learning from Gordon Strachan and his coaching staff in a crucial week for the national team.
Having played for Scotland 17 times, Barry Robson is familiar with the set-up at Mar Hall, but was able to view things from a different perspective as an aspiring coach.
On the day of the Scotland v Canada match at Easter Road, Robson and his fellow participants received a talk from the Scottish FA’s performance director Malky Mackay at Oriam before attending the game and analysing the first half.
Next time the cohort meet up they will travel to Poland to continue their learning at the Under-21 UEFA European Championships.
After spending two days analysing the national team, Robson reflected on his most recent Pro Licence experience.
Robson views inspirational coach in different light
Gordon Strachan is the best manager I’ve worked under, but this week with the Pro Licence we had the chance to go behind the scenes and I was able to view him in another light.
We had a talk with Gordon after the Canada game and he is someone who is unbelievably engaging. His wealth of knowledge of the game is great.
His drive and enthusiasm is something everyone loves about him and every time you sit down with him you learn something new.
I always knew he was good tactically, but watching him chat through his video analysis work was really intriguing.
Watching guys who have never met Gordon was interesting too, as I don’t think they quite realised just how good he actually is.
It was quite a relaxing two days compared to other meet ups, as it’s an environment I’m used to.
On Wednesday night we were all in attendance at Easter Road. Viewing the game from the Sky Sports broadcasting gantry, I was given an assignment to complete by Jim Fleeting, the Scottish FA’s Director of Coaching.
We were asked to analyse the first-half, looking at team selection, what worked, what didn’t go so well and what drills we could put on to improve the performance.
The Canada game was important to give players game time and see how they are mentally and physically.
Gordon certainly found that out and it will be a different team to the one that plays on Sunday I think.
I’m really looking forward to the game as we’ve got some great players in that squad.
Before that match we had a talk from Malky Mackay and I was impressed with what he had to say.
Some of his talk was to do with crisis management and how he’s dealt with certain situations as a manager.
As an aspiring head coach it was a real eye-opener in terms of preparing for certain situations.
He talked to us about how to create certain headlines quickly so that when you walk into a dressing room you can deliver clear-cut messages to your team.
We’ll now all go back to our day jobs before convening in June for a trip to Krakow to watch and learn at the Under-21 European Championships in Poland.
All the Pro Licence meet-ups have been enjoyable so far and everyone completing the course are working really well together. You couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to complete this course with.