Apprentices

Scottish Football Answers to Questions
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soccerhistory
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Apprentices

Post by soccerhistory » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:11 pm

When the Football League clubs introduced an apprenticeship scheme in 1960 I understand that regulations prevented lads from Scotland and Northern Ireland from becoming apprentices. Can anyone confirm whether this is correct. Also, if this is true, when was the ban on Scottish players signing as apprentices for FL clubs lifted and did the SFL ever introduce an apprenticeship scheme of their own?

Lisbon67
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Post by Lisbon67 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:33 pm

I'm sure the Huns used to have some scheme or other. Always banging on about apprentice boys.

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Post by Gordon Baird » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:59 am

It was around that time that youngsters started being put on the ground staff. John Clark believes that he may have been the first ground-staff boy in Scotland when he signed for Celtic (1958?) and when Jock Stein took over at Dunfermline he brought that idea with him, making Alex Edwards the first ground-staff boy at East End Park in 1961. This may have been a way of getting round the ban on apprenticeships.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:19 am

According to John Litster's disk John Clark had already spent time at Birmingham City before joining Celtic. Clark had also turned 17 when he signed up at Parkhead so would have been able to sign full professional terms.

Bu there were certainly plenty of instances of players under that age being signed on. Tommy McLean, for example, was 15 when he signed for Kilmarnock. Legend has it that he was upstairs signing the contract Willie Waddell put in front of him while Rangers manager Scot Symon was knocking the front door!

soccerhistory
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Post by soccerhistory » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:38 pm

There are actually two questions here (although I didn't make this clear in my initial post).

Firstly, English League clubs were not allowed to recruit boys from Scotland or Northern Ireland as apprentices when the apprenticeship scheme was introduced. This is mentioned in a biography of George Best, as an example, who was never an apprentice at Man Utd - the club found him a part-time job and he was initially registered as an amateur. After 1960 the FA effectively ran two Youth representative teams: an amateur squad that took part in the Home International Championships (and therefore played Scotland and Northern Ireland) and a professional squad for the UEFA tournaments. I assume this ban must have been lifted at some point, but when?

Secondly, did any Scottish clubs run apprenticeship schemes in the 1960s and 1970s, or otherwise when was a formal apprenticeship scheme introduced (possibly at the time of the YTS schemes?). Any scheme would presumably have required authorisation by the Scottish PFA and the Scottish FA or Football League.

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