As we look forward to an exciting 2017, it is interesting to take a look back at 2016, which has been a very important year in the development of the Edusport Academy.
Without doubt, the highlight of the year was being accepted into the Scottish FA as full members. No other private football academy in the world has had the privilege of becoming a full member of a FIFA affiliate association and of this, we are very proud. We also managed to achieve the National Club License Entry Level award, which is testament to the hard work and professionalism of everyone associated with the Edusport Academy.
On the field, 2016 was a success. Although disappointed not to win the league, we competed well and finished 2nd in both our respective leagues with the senior and U20 squads.
We retained the South of Scotland League Cup, winning the trophy for a second year in a row and added the Tweedie Cup to our list of achievements.
Three of our players went on to sign professional contracts and a personal highlight for myself was being part of a 35,000 crowd, watching them play at Ibrox Stadium against the famous Glasgow Rangers in the League Cup. To witness their progress and see them compete at such a level was very satisfying.
2016 saw several of our players from previous years obtain scholarships in the USA and Canada and we wish them well. It is a fantastic opportunity for them to continue to combine football with education at a high level.
Last year saw us recruit for the first time in Switzerland and Luxembourg and as we look to expand our recruitment base, we will add detections in Italy, Spain, Germany and Canada to our programme in 2017.
The Edusport Academy has developed significantly since it’s creation in 2011 and we will continue to strive towards higher standards and greater achievements, whilst remaining true to the ethos of the Academy.
Regardless of our achievements on and off the field, the single most important element of the academy will always be player development. To that end, we work with extremely motivated and professional coaching staff and 2017 will see several of our staff gain further coaching qualifications with Ryan McCann due to complete his ‘UEFA A’ and Ricky Waddell due to obtain the highly respected ‘UEFA Pro License’.
I have a responsibility to ensure that each player has a life changing experience through the Academy. That each player grows as a person and improves as a footballer.
I also have a responsibility to ensure that each year is better than the precedent……lets hope that 2017 will follow that trend.
Best Wishes for 2017 !