HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson will scout top European clubs this summer for fresh ideas ahead of his team’s return to the Scottish Premiership.
Refusing to rest on his laurels after clinching the Championship title with seven games to spare, Neilson’s quest to broaden his coaching knowledge will continue abroad once the season ends.
He is currently studying for his UEFA Pro Licence and spent Sunday afternoon in a conference room at Stirling University as Hearts’ title success was confirmed by dint of Hibs’ defeat to Rangers. Neilson is already planning for next season by identifying players who could improve his squad.
Speaking to the Evening News, he revealed he also wants to progress as a coach. When others are on holiday or enjoying a well-earned rest, he will jet off to Europe to study methods used by other coaches and managers. He will then return and implement some of them at Riccarton.
“You still need to keep evolving and keep developing. It’s really important that not just the players but the coaching staff keep progressing. I’m going to spend time on that over the summer as well,” he said.
“It won’t just be about recruiting and working on a schedule for next year. I’m going to get away abroad and visit some clubs to get a look and see what’s going on. I’ll watch some games and see what I can see.
“I like to be able to bring new things to our training, give new ideas to the players and it’s important I have a freshness when we come back for pre-season training. I have a couple of things lined up so I’ll go and watch other clubs training and playing games. I’m looking forward to it.”
Neilson’s Pro Licence course continued at the start of this week despite Hearts being confirmed as Championship winners. However, the head coach did not complain such is his thirst for knowledge. “I was on the course on Sunday and then I was back in for more at nine o’clock on Monday morning so I didn’t do much to celebrate winning the league.
“We’ll maybe do something on Saturday after the Queen of the South game but the Pro Licence course is really important for me and I need to make sure I get it.”