Ap­peal to SFA over games for acad­e­mies

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - STEWART FISHER

ALAN Bur­rows, Mother­well’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, praised the SFA last night for lis­ten­ing to some of his club’s con­cerns about Project Brave, but in­sisted fur­ther re­as­sur­ance was re­quired from the gov­ern­ing body to as­sure them that all the elite acad­e­mies ad­mit­ted to their new de­vel­op­ment scheme are able to ac­cess the same fix­tures pro­gramme.

The La­nark­shire club, one of a num­ber of west of Scot­land clubs that met with SFA chief ex­ec­u­tive Stewart Re­gan and per­for­mance di­rec­tor Malky Mackay at Ham­p­den yes­ter­day, has been an arch crit­ics of the scheme, which en­vis­ages the pop­u­la­tion of the na­tion’s 29 youth acad­e­mies be­ing cut by about half.

In­trigue sur­rounds the fi­nal num­ber of acad­e­mies ful­fill­ing the cri­te­ria of full-time staff, fa­cil­i­ties and gen­er­at­ing enough Mea­sur­able Per­for­mance Out­comes to be granted “per­for­mance academy” sta­tus, even though the Project Brave strat­egy group rec­om­mended that Scot­land was able to sus­tain no more than 16 acad­e­mies and the most ef­fi­cient way was to play in two tiers of eight to en­shrine the prin­ci­ple of “best v best”.

“I think the SFA has lis­tened,” Bur­rows said. “There are still one or two things that we want to sort out but a lot of our ma­jor con­cerns have been ad­dressed.

“I still want some re­as­sur­ance, though, that if Mother­well are in the elite pro­gramme that we will still get a chance to play against Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Aberdeen and all those clubs,” he added. “Be­cause that is the clubs our play­ers want to be play­ing against.

“I want to praise Les Gray at Hamil­ton, who has been ex­tremely pos­i­tive for speak­ing up for the Mother­wells, Hamil­tons, and This­tles, clubs that don’t have the wal­let, but have the de­sire and phi­los­o­phy of pro­duc­ing young play­ers. It shouldn’t be best v best be­cause you can put them on a spread­sheet.

“It has to ac­tu­ally be about go­ing out on a Satur­day and Sun­day and play­ing games.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.