The Scottish FA Performance coaching department were invited by the Greek FA to attend a number of matches during the UEFA European Championship Under-19s finals.
As part of the Scottish FA’s Erasmus+ funding application, the national youth team coaches and technical department were invited to share knowledge and experience of the many areas that culminate in successful planning and execution of a tournament from a coaching perspective.
The trip began with a tactical assessment of France’s 1-0 victory against Austria, which included a look at the situational analysis of key moments in the game, an assessment of the tactical contracts between the teams and a follow-up with the host country on operational matters around the fixture planning and tournament organisation.
The coaching staff were struck by the evolution of systems and styles of play, especially from world-class football nations such as Spain and Germany. They also note a cautious approach to early matches and a reliance on possession in hot and humid temperatures.
The number of goals scored from set-plays also proved a feature of the tournament and so, too, indiscipline and a lack of maturity in decision making resulting in costly yellow cards and red cards.
On top of the finals, the visit also provided two study group placement opportunities with Greek football’s biggest clubs, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos.