UEFA Under-21 Championships - Prague

The Scottish FA’s Pro Licence candidates took part in a shared learning experience at the UEFA European Under-21 Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

Hosted by our counterparts at the Czech FA, the Scottish FA Director of Football development, Jim Fleeting, led 25 Pro Licence candidates to observe coaching trends within the participating finalists and understand the Coach Education provision offered by the host country.

The programme was made possible by the European Union Erasmus+ funding programme, which will enable the Scottish FA to offer lifelong learning in two key areas of its strategic plan, Scotland United a 2020 Vision.

Almost 100 people will benefit from EU travel aimed at Strong Quality Growth and Performance in seven opportunities throughout Europe made possible by Erasmus+ 

The visit was overseen by the Czech FA Technical Director, Dusan Fitzel, who identified the significant differences in the Scottish and Czech coaching programmes. The general focus was on the growing responsibilities of the modern coach and, in particular, the growing need to integrate sports science both into the Coach Education curriculum and in practice.

As well as looking at case studies from the Under-21 Championships teams, modules were devised devoted to biomedical aspects of sports training for children and youth players. These were supplemented by courses on management and leadership, media skills, legal affairs and the growing influence of modern technology in scouting and analysis but also in social media.

On the field, participants were analysed on their game awareness – following all matches with a group discussion, presentation and debate, formational analysis, coaching style comparisons, coaching influences, and team issues.

“Coach Education is one of the most important responsibilities of the Scottish FA. Improvement of coaching skills through European interaction and exchange of innovation, coupled with enhanced employability for all participants, is central to our objective to be a home of great coaching.
“We are grateful to Erasmus+ for their support, which helps realise their commitment to ensuring that we produce a stream of talented, enthusiastic coaches who can play their part in raising standards across Scotland and providing them with the additional skills to improve their employability and career progression.”

Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA Director of Football Development