Are we heading in the wrong direction?

June 29, 2024

The recent Euro campaign shed light on critical deficiencies within our national team. From the most goals conceded to the second lowest goals scored and minimal shots on target, the statistics paint a bleak picture. Scotland's lack of creativity was further evidenced by their 24th ranking in dribbles during the tournament.

In my view, the issue stems from grassroots football, cascading into professional academies and the adult game. Drawing from experiences in Spain and Brazil, where training sessions are predominantly opposed and small-sided, fostering player decision-making skills, Scotland appears to be moving in the opposite direction. Unopposed training and coach-controlled sessions hinder the development of crucial attributes like technique, playing under pressure, game understanding, and decision-making.

To nurture players with superior skills and comfort in 1v1 situations, we must revolutionise our approach to training. The success of top footballers worldwide, predominantly emerging from futsal, street, or cage football backgrounds, underscores the benefits of smaller, faster-paced environments. Regular exposure to such conditions is key to unlocking players' full potential and honing their abilities.

Why do the SFA and SYFA continue to overlook small sided games and futsal?

Maybe one day we will catch on, but my fear is I will be saying the exact same in 2040!!

The bonus is, we are not bound by what the SFA or SYFA do. We can create our own environment for players to develop and excel.