Making Scottish Football Better

The place to discuss Scottish football
bluedragon
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Re: Making Scottish Football Better

Post by bluedragon » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:11 am

Thanks “Skyline Drifter” for the explanation of the development loan system and in particular in relation to the non-SPFL clubs. One question please. Did this work the other way? Let us say your club spots a good player in the Lowland League could you as the SPFL club sign him under this rule so that he might get the odd chance to play for a Senior club?

Thanks as well to “the hibLOG” for the information on qualified coaches throughout Europe.

Whatever we do we must improve facilities and the overall standard of coaching to young players. We also need to use our strengths that is a professional league in a small country.

We also need to give the best of our young players the opportunity to play together, against good opposition and in arrangements that are not unlike an international team coming together. Crucially this needs to be on a regular basis. I would therefore create a Scottish Professional Football League XI from Scotland-qualified players and managed by Gordon Strachan or members of his team. This would need to be properly thought through – a good name for a start! – but more young players need to have an achievable stepping stone to international football. It could start simply with games against our own club sides eliminated from Europe and with good marketing by the SFA the team might be seen as good opposition to be invited to play elsewhere in Europe for say six games in a season. We also need to ensure that it is seen as a stepping stone and they must be meaningful matches and not just a series of friendlies.

Any player selected would be there by virtue of their ability but would be given a chance to show they can adapt to different surroundings, play with different team mates and to win matches. We need to be able to test this and ensure players have these personal characteristics before they play in competitive international matches at whatever level.

I know what most will be saying - it sounds like the Scottish League XI that played its last game in the 1970’s. To some extent it is but further back selection and a good performance for the League team was almost a requirement for selection for the full Scotland team.

Skyline Drifter
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Re: Making Scottish Football Better

Post by Skyline Drifter » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:35 pm

bluedragon wrote:Thanks “Skyline Drifter” for the explanation of the development loan system and in particular in relation to the non-SPFL clubs. One question please. Did this work the other way? Let us say your club spots a good player in the Lowland League could you as the SPFL club sign him under this rule so that he might get the odd chance to play for a Senior club?
No, absolutely not. The Development loan system is very specifically intended for young u20's attached to a "bigger" SPFL club to go get first team experience at a lower level without actually having to leave their parent club and being ruled out of playing u20's for them. As the u20 league is played midweek and therefore won't generally clash with senior games it was hoped to encourage player development. Few clubs carry enough u20's to allow a lot of them out on loan if they couldn't also continue playing at 20's level.

I'm not sure if it might be possible to bring in a Lowland League player on a standard half season loan. I've never seen it happen so don't know if that would be allowed but even if it was, they wouldn't be able to play for both clubs. Once on a standard loan the player could only play for the borrowing club.

Snuff
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Re: Making Scottish Football Better

Post by Snuff » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:46 pm

I liked bluedragon's suggestion of "A Scottish League XI". Let's call them the Scottish Thistles, or something similar.

This might be an Under-23 team, or, at least having the bulk of the team chosen from guys who have come through the national age group system but have yet to be capped, augmented by a "spine" of experienced full-caps; the three over-age players, as used in the Olympic Games teams, might be a good blueprint to follow.

Surely we could get the Scandinavian or Low Countries Leagues interested as a starting point. Might not the Football League (English Championship and Divisions One and Two) be interested in restoring the old inter-League games, as a showcase for young English talent? We could maybe even get the Welsh and the two Irish Leagues interested, since we can no longer think ourselves much better than these leagues.

Thus, we could give guys with Scottish League teams experience of playing out of their comfort zone which they will rarely get with their club sides.

I did a very quick check as I filed this, looking at the number of Under-21 players who had proressed to win a full cap, from the Under-21s, in the last ten years. Now, I might have missed out a couple, but, I reckon we have capped over 150 players at Under-21 level since season 2005-06, of these approximately 36, of just under 25% have gone on to win full caps.

Is that a good enough example of young players "training-on" to become internationalists? I don't think so. The conversion rate from Under-23 caps to full caps - pre 1976, was slightly over 40%, so, clearly we have been going backwards for some time.

It has always struck me as odd that players such as Graeme Alexander, George Boyd, Liam Bridcutt, Jamie Mackie, Graham Murty or Nigel Quashie are considered more-worthy of Scotland selection - and these guys, to be fair, all did well for us, on the basis of performances in the English second tier, than guys who have come through the age group system up to Under-21.

It sometimes seems, having a Scottish grannie is a better indicator of suitablity for the Scotland team than having come through the ranks.

We must do something to sort out our mess. Carrying on as we have is not an option.
Snuff

EastJunior
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Re: Making Scottish Football Better

Post by EastJunior » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:48 pm

It would be almost impossible to get a "League XI" playing decent level of opposition.

Scotland managers have tried without success to find nations willing to play a B International. Berti was probably last last one to have any success with the "Future" Internationals. Look at what we did in this International window - nothing! no A team matches and one U21 match. Scotland were the only top 30 UEFA nation not to play at least one match this week.

It's a peculiar Scottish trait that we seem reluctant to play friendlies which are normally labelled as "meangingless" by the media. Once again, Berti was the last manager who was willing to play games at every available opportunity. Watch in March as we only play one match despite there being the opportunity to play two.

I doubt Strachan's "blueprint" will include playing more Internationals, at whatever level.

Snuff
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Re: Making Scottish Football Better

Post by Snuff » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:07 pm

Our attitude to international fixtures will HAVE to change.

I am not exactly sure when it comes in, it may not be until after World Cup 2018, but, the UEFA international league system is coming. This will mean we will no longer be playing friendlies, but, competitive games against international teams of roughly the same standard.

With this in mind, I feel, we have to come-up with an international development programme, so we can bring-on our age group internationals so they are ready for these competitive full internationals.

Berti's promotion of the Futures internationals was a copy of the German system, but, the clubs - who provide the Hampden blazers - were never in favour of it, while the Scottish Football Writers were never all that keen.

A clear case of that curse of Scottish sport: "Ayebeenism" holding back a progressive move.
Snuff

EastJunior
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Re: Making Scottish Football Better

Post by EastJunior » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:18 pm

The Nations League starts in September 2018.

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