On 28th of October 2015, the Scottish FA East Region participated in an Erasmus+ exchange visit to the Spanish area of Valencia. The purpose of the trip was to provide an opportunity for 11 coaches and officials from Scottish FA East Region (Tayside and Fife) to visit an area that is renowned and respected worldwide for the development of players and coaches.
There were five main outcomes attached to the week-long visit:
- Identify examples of good practice based around club, player and coaching philosophies
- Investigate Spanish club culture and identify how this compares to Scottish cultures
- Identify areas of good practice based around club customer service
- Liaise with key stakeholders within the game to foster and develop relationships
- Investigate grassroots and professional club processes and procedures
- Learn about the Spanish players’ mindset and identify how this differs from Scotland
From previous experience and knowledge of this area of Spain, it was identified that its strengths are based around good practice from a coach and club development perspective within a grassroots, semi-professional and professional background. With that in mind, the participants were a mix of club officials from a similar background, together with a representative from a local youth football association and one representative from sportscotland. There were 11 participants in total, including the trip leader
The key observations were:
All facilities catered for the customer - parents and spectators. Every venue from professional to grassroots had a covered area which supplied refreshments, shelter and seating area.
The mindset and culture of the players was focused towards team efforts in everything they did. This was reinforced by coaches who all talked about installing discipline, respect and humility to their players as a key aim.
There was no indication that the development of the game in Spain was down to a specific targeted national methodology and more down to good practice from individual clubs.
- There was a general consensus within the group that Scottish clubs have as good if not more advanced club processes in place and can be proud of the developments within our game. In particular the support from the clubs governing body does not provide the same high level support which is provided by the Scottish FA.