Stars of the future on the ball at Braidhurst High

Pupils go through their paces.
Pupils go through their paces.
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Around 150 young footballers were on the ball at Braidhurst High last week when they displayed their skills at a special showcase.

The event was aimed at showing parents the progress made in the various football initiatives based at the school.

The Motherwell school has been at the forefront of 
efforts to develop future footballing talent while also ensuring that at the same time youngsters receive a 
proper education.

In 2008 Braidhurst became one of six designated SFA Schools of Football and its work was further enhanced last year when Braidhurst was also chosen to house 
a new SFA Elite 
Performance School.

In addition already close ties with Motherwell FC were enhanced with the club decided to base its youth academy at the school.

Pupils who are part of the SFA initiative schools receive daily coaching from SFA-qualified coaches based at the school in addition to their regular education.

And Braidhurst rector Derrick Hannan is in no doubt that the programmes being undertaken at the school have proved 
overwhelming successes.

He said: “We have had visitors from Newcastle United, Manchester City, Northern Ireland and even Holland coming to see our programme.

“The programmes add to the professional clubs’ youth development programme. The clubs are fully aware and supportive of this initiative.

“It is open to boys and girls with the bulk being boys. Parents have been extremely impressed by the programme and the general education provision.

“These are highly motivated pupils with superb attendance and fitness. The players are all given a thorough medical by SFA staff prior to starting the scheme to ensure that they are physically 
able to cope.

“We have players connected to almost every professional club in the country with Motherwell FC having a very high percentage of the talent signed to the club.

“Players who are with Motherwell FC usually stay behind after 3.30pm to catch up on homework etc then after having a meal take part in the Motherwell FC training in the school.”

Last week’s showcase saw players perform a series of football skills and drills in seven stations taken by professional coaches.