David Drummond: No summer let-up in bid to develop youngsters

It may be the season for holidays but life in football development continues to go at pace in Edinburgh. Through our Development Officer, Chris Roberts, and Community Coaches at Hearts and Hibs, Alan White and Willie Kirk, we have a full programme of player camps and coach education throughout the summer, providing a great opportunity for children to come and try the sport for the first time as well as opportunities for new and 
experienced coaches to develop their knowledge and skills.

Our Schools of Football programme at Craigroyston, Gracemount and Forrester/St Augustines continues to go from strength to strength as we enter the third year of the programme in Edinburgh. With 47 P7 pupils about to join the existing role of 48 players who have just finished S1, the social and academic programme is designed to enhance the skill level of the players involved while keeping them engaged in school life, all under the expert eye of our Player and Coach Development Officer, Chris Smith.

Work continues in Edinburgh to support the clubs who do a fantastic job offering football for all ages and abilities. Recently, we have witnessed some great success from both Tynecastle and Hutchison Vale football clubs, winning National titles at a number of age groups while Blackhall Athletic have created a brand new club, offering playing opportunities for nearly 50 players in the north west of the city. Our links with the adult game continue to strengthen following the re-structuring of the main board at the Scottish FA. We are finding more and more adult clubs across the region wanting to work with us to develop youth sections, offering more opportunities of community-based football clubs, creating pathways from the beginning of a child’s football career through to retirement from the adult game or further roles within the club.

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Nationally, we have just launched our football equity programme which will encourage more people to be involved in the game, regardless of background or ethnicity. In order that we fully understand the landscape of the football in the region, we are collating information through our website by way of a questionnaire.

To take part in the survey, simply log on to www.scottishfa.co.uk/equity and follow the steps.

• To keep up-to-date with football in Edinburgh and to find your nearest opportunity to get involved, visit our website www.scottishfa.co.uk/southeast or follow us on twitter @sfa_southeast David Drummond is the Regional Manager for the Scottish Football Association’s South East Region, covering Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, West, Mid and East Lothian.