Future is bright for Scottish kids

Rogacrio Barros puts players through their paces
Rogacrio Barros puts players through their paces

SL Benfica coach Rogacrio Barros believes Scotland is on the right track to creating the footballing stars of the future - but it will take time.

Barros (24) was in Motherwell last week to take a training session at Braidhurst High for S2 pupils attending the school of football.

He is in Scotland to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas by attending the SFA coaching course at Largs as Portugal doesn’t have such a programme.

Barros said: “From what I have seen the principals of how our two countries work is now pretty much the same in terms of how we think about football.

“I have been trying to enrich my experience by watching practice, going to clubs in order to get a feel of how people work in Scotland.

“From the small amount I have seen you seem to be going in the correct direction because you have the good professionals and people who have a good way of thinking about the game getting involved.

“The clubs, particularly the big ones, are really trying to move forward into new methodology and new ways of thinking.

“However, one of the main problems is the weather which doesn’t always allow for the pitches to be good enough to play technical football.

“In every club I still get the impression that winning is more valued than development and that means getting the biggest players, the most physical players.

“However things will work out, the process is a long term one, no results will be seen in one or two years you have to wait for the players who are 12 now to get to 18 or 19 years old.

“Once they reach that age and are involved in professional football I believe it is then the results of the hard work people like Gordon Craig at Braidhurst High are putting in will become apparent.”

Craig, SFA elite youth performance coach at Braidhurst, previously worked with Benfica and has arranged for a group of pupils to visit the Lisbon club later in the year.

He said: “I used to do some work with SL Benfica before my work at the SFA and I still have a great relationship with the club.

“I was so inspired by the work they do at their academy, and it has had a big influence on the way I like to work with young players in my charge.

“I wanted the players to experience some of this culture and training for themselves.

“Having an opportunity to visit a club like Benfica to play and train every day at their academy will be a perfect learning curve for their development.

“This opportunity will certainly complement the work the players are undertaking at their own clubs and the performance school.”