Scottish football has a fine history of producing first class managers and the SFA is doing their best to ensure that proud record continues.
Seven of the 20 teams in the English Premier League are managed by Scotsmen, five of whom were at Hampden Park this month to pass on some of their knowledge to aspiring coaches in a managerial master class.
David Moyes (Everton), Paul Lambert (Norwich City), Owen Coyle (Bolton Wanderers), Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) and Alex McLeish (Aston Villa) were joined by national team coach Craig Levein to deliver a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) seminar to SFA coaching licence holders.
The six managers paired off to deliver three frank Question & Answer sessions in which they shared knowledge, advice and anecdotes about their time in coaching and management, much to the enjoyment of the 150 coaches in attendance.
Speaking ahead of the masterclass, Everton boss Moyes said he was happy to offer advice to aspiring coaches in the same way that he received help from others.
“I was really fortunate when I done my badges the people who gave up time for me,” Moyes told the SFA website.
“Andy Roxburgh was in charge, but people like Alex Ferguson, Walter Smith, Craig Brown, Archie Knox – really experienced people who were on those courses and taking the courses.
“So now I’m a bit more experienced than some of the boys who are coming on the courses, I think for them to hear some of the problems I have or some of the situations in management that I’ve got to deal with, I think it’s always good for their development.”
The return north of the border of some of Scotland’s most prominent coaches follows recent CPD presentations by former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas and Italy’s legendary World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi.
These bookings demonstrate the SFA’s commitment to CPD – a UEFA initiative that requires all coaching licence holders to undertake 15 hours of professional development outside of their normal employment in a three-year period.
Scottish FA Director of Football Development Jim Fleeting said: “There is a thriving coaching community in this country and the fact that all of the managers had no hesitation in agreeing to take part – despite having some of the most high-pressured and intense jobs in world football – shows the mutual respect that exists between them.
“CPD has given coaches the opportunity to learn regardless of their levels of experience or employment.
“It is the beauty of coaching that whether you are Sir Alex [Ferguson] – who has been a long-standing supporter of our programmes – or a new coach starting out, there is always something that can be learned from another coach’s experiences.”
This is a view endorsed by Moyes, who still regards himself as a student of the game.
“I’ve always looked to see if I can pick anything up from games,” he added. “I really enjoy watching football. It’s probably my hobby as well.
“It’s my job, but I’ve always seen it as great to go to games and watch football being played. I think when you do that you end up seeing something – good players or something different that a coach has done.
“Recently I went to see the German national team play and saw something that they done which I tried to implement at my own club, so I think you can learn from everybody. You always have to go out there and see if you can find it.”
The full interview with David Moyes, in which he talks about his experiences of coach education, how he operates at Goodison Park and his love of studying the game, is available to view on the SFA website. Images courtesy of the SFA.