BSC Glasgow wants you. Youth Development Initiative

BSC Glasgow (our new lowland league side) is looking to start a youth development programme for talented players.

To date BSC has a great record of sending players to existing professional teams, more than 50 boys in the last 10 years. While this is an achievement in itself the reality is that all but a handful of boys from BSC are still at professional clubs. This is of course the nature of elite football; less than 0.1% of people playing the game can claim to be ‘professional’. Of those players it’s also worth noting that the percentage of professional players earning a living wage from football in Scotland is less than 20% of registered professional players in Scotland. A football career also has a limited lifespan compared with other professions too.

A further concern for BSC is that only a handful of boys who are rejected by Pro Youth teams have returned to playing for BSC, remarkably all the others have given up the game all together. We understand that this is common practise for these rejected players who become disheartened, feel like failures and fall out of love with the game. It also suggests there is no proper exit strategy in professional youth development.

All of this leads us to the conclusion that traditional Pro youth football is not working for many children.

BSC Glasgow Youth Development Programme

We will have the same simple objectives of other professional clubs in that we want to develop elite players; our selection process will vigorous and demanding. These players will need to be fully committed and available for all training and matches that they are selected for.  There are no half measures and not all players will make the grade at this level. That’s the nature of professional sport.

What will be hugely different with BSC’s approach from that of existing Pro youth development systems will be the ‘wrap around’ provided by BSC community system. This will be the safety net that will keep players playing if they don’t make the grade at the highest level.

Under this system players will not be separated from their peers and will remain in contact with their teams as they grow and progress through our elite youth set up. Practically this will involve selected players joining additional training sessions with other selected players (not all from BSC). In addition to this they will play representative games as BSC Glasgow Youth Team. Importantly they will retain the link with their team and will still play and train with their peers.

Players develop in fits and surges both physically and mentally. The Pro Youth system in the UK does not make allowances for this; our system does recognise late developers and allows us to monitor players who fall into this category.

Another benefit of this wrap around system is the personal and emotional development of players, it has long been a criticism that Pro Youth teams take children away from their friends and families and they miss out on so much including the ability to play for their schools. One has to ask is that ever going to be worth it.

It is worth noting that some players from the age of U16 may become involved with the senior A team and U21s in some small capacity. From the U17s age group players could sign to either the senior ‘A’ team or U21s.

The winning of a place in the 5th tier of professional football gives BSC an opportunity to put all this right. We want the small kids in our 4v4s to have a clear pathway to playing as an adult. At BSC the smallest child will always be as important as the star players in the First team.

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