JOHN COLQUHOUN believes Hearts are one of Britain’s most progressive clubs after agreeing a deal to introduce his Box Soccer Training programme at Riccarton.
The former Tynecastle winger is encouraged by the overhaul of the Hearts youth academy and the Box Soccer agreement sees Darren Murray return to his former place of work.
Murray, the former Riccarton youth coach, is now head of coach education at Box Soccer and will help implement the programme for young Hearts players aged nine to 12. Colquhoun owns Box Soccer Training and believes the arrangement, funded by sponsorship from property maintenance group ARC Scotland Ltd, is ideal for all concerned.
“It’s exciting for us. We’re a new company and I see Hearts as a new club again after what they went through. They’re one of the most progressive clubs in Britain, I think, and it’s a pleasure for us to partner up with them,” said Colquhoun.
“The programme was developed by Ian Cathro, who I think is a coaching genius. He developed it in his early 20s and people like Ryan Gauld, John Souttar and Craig Wighton went through it. Ian believes everything you do as a professional footballer can be re-created in a box at a formative age. The foundations can be built in this box.
“It’s all game-related, it’s not just skills for skills’ sake. There’s a purpose to what you do, it affects your decision-making and it places great demands on you. It’s not a baby-sitting service. You get a lot more touches than normal training sessions but it’s all game related and position-specific. I bought the programme from Ian but he is still involved. He’ll be doing new practices for us every year as he sees the game progressing. As the game evolves, the programme has to evolve.”
Regarding Murray’s role, Colquhoun continued: “Darren is my head of coaching. I’m really lucky to get him because he’s over-qualified and underpaid at the moment but we’re a start-up company and Darren really sees what we’re doing. Darren will be mentoring the Hearts coaches. We’re teaching them to deliver Box Soccer and Darren is our head of coach education. He’s got a great attitude and energy but he’s a really top-quality coach.
“He’ll be important to this because of what he did at Hearts. He was intrinsically involved in the development of Sam Nicholson, Jamie Walker and that whole squad. It’s great Darren is back involved, both for the club and their young players. We want every player who comes to Box Soccer to become a better player.”