Football Development

Scottish EXECUTIVE – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 17th June 1999.

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Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour 2:30 pm, 17th June 1999

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will make a statement on the development of the Scottish football partnership to encourage the development of talented young footballers in Scotland. (S1O-27)

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

I chaired the inaugural meeting of the football partnership on Monday 14 June. The partnership set up a task force to draw up detailed proposals and report back by the end of October. Our aim is to help Scotland's national teams and top clubs to compete successfully on the international stage, through the development of our native talent.

Photo of Allan Wilson Allan Wilson Labour

I am sure that everyone in this chamber shares the Scottish football partnership's objectives and wishes it well in its deliberations. Can we be assured that as well as developing coaching expertise, important as that is, the task force will consider proposals to develop indoor and other all-weather facilities for our football academies, on the Scandinavian model? Such facilities would provide year-round opportunities for Scottish kids to improve their skills and end the game's expensive reliance on foreign players, many of them of Scandinavian origin.

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

I am aware that Norway has invested heavily in indoor and all-weather facilities, and that it has had some recent success. This is a key area that the football partnership and the football task force will examine.