For Scottish football to truly flourish, we need more drastic measures than simply juggling the numbers.
After Germany crashed out of Euro 2000 - picking up only one solitary point along the way - they implemented a wide-ranging strategy aimed at preventing similar disasters in future competitions. The first key point – presented by the German FA’s Youth Development Director after analysing the French FA’s Clairefontaine Academy – was the opening of 121 national talent centres across the country. Each of these centres was to employ two full-time coaches. The second key point was the requirement that every club in the Bundesliga had to build a youth academy.
For me, it isn’t so much about what we are currently doing; it’s more about what we aren’t. As I’ve already demonstrated, with massive reconstruction at grassroots level in Germany, they’ve been able to dramatically improve at all levels in the sport. The simple answer then, is to copy what they’ve done and refine it to fit our smaller clubs. With that in mind, I propose an amalgamation of the two key points in the German plan; build national centres and use them as academies.
Isn't that what Brave is trying to do with the professional clubs, though - to make eight "super" academies into which the various diddy organizations will flow? You say yourself the model was Clairefontaine, which is extremely centralized in that the top players flow to the top (similar to Bradenton in the US and that new one in England.) So we're aiming for the same thing but without the central academy?
There's an interesting article by a blogger on this:
Full disclosure, it's far too long and sanctimonious, and a lot of what he says is plainly bollocks, but he makes one superb point that most commentators so far have missed:
He makes a decent case that producing good players at youth level isn't really our problem, but seeing them through to full development is. I think the poster child for that has to be Ryan Gauld, who was seen as a generational talent but is now a squad player (generously speaking) at some relegation fodder in Portugal. So he got all the right coaching, got his big move, and then disappeared. There is merit to say that if he'd stayed at United (and they consequently may have avoided relegation) he'd be much further along in his development, even allowing for the (presumably) far superior coaching at Sporting, simply because he'd have far more first team action under his belt by now.
I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the big problem is the first team gap as opposed to the youth coaching.
Edited by TRVMP, Yesterday, 11:19 PM.