Only having been at the club for such a short space of time, it is already abundantly clear to me the vision Motherwell FC has for the future.
Player development is always at the forefront of the plans and with the wheels already in motion with the new £1.9 million building; girls and women’s football at the club has never looked more promising.
The new performance development centre has many aims and objectives. First and foremost the centre looks to increase the number of females participating in game, starting at the early age of seven.
With this in mind, the club will nurture individuals and develop the elite players of the future. The centre promises not only to enhance skills and playing abilities, but it also takes a more holistic approach, supporting not only football, but promises to support education alongside player welfare.
How does this happen?
Tutors are on site to help youngsters with their homework after school and before training sessions. A player welfare officer will also be appointed to ensure all performance centre participants are achieving their full potential both on and off the pitch.
Motherwell will also offer career structures and employment opportunities within the Centre for talented players across administration, health and coaching roles. The centre will look to employ highly qualified coaches at every age group, to provide a long term player pathway from Under 7s right through to Under 15s.
It will also have fully qualified physiotherapists, sports psychologists, sports nutritionists and sports scientists on hand. Players will not only have access to some of the best facilities around, but they will also receive the very best expertise available.
An example from a day in the life of a performance centre participant includes being collected from school, being taken to the development centre where players will receive juice and snack after a hard day at the office! They will then complete any homework tasks they have been assigned from school with development centre tutors, including the use of online facilities and up to date computer technology.
Players will then receive another snack and get down to the football side of things. For me as a child, this would have been the stuff dreams were made of! I wish I was 23 years younger!
Although not yet in the new building, the development centre has already been up and running for two weeks and has been a huge success. However these things are easy for me to say, right? I thought I would try and speak to someone whose opinions really matter. I was lucky enough to chat with Leah Macpherson (7) from the Under 9s, who attends the development centre. I asked Leah what it was like, what she feels she has learned through the programme so far and why she loves it so much.
“It’s great being part of the club and it’s really exciting. I look forward to training and games every week. I like having our own pitch where we can train. It can be challenging, but it’s still really enjoyable, the training more than doing my homework! I particularly like playing football, we do stretching and a warm-up too, which is not as much fun as playing, but we need to do it.”
“Although doing my homework is not as much fun as playing football, I do like reading my books to coach Gibson. My favourite food from the snacks are apples and ham sandwiches. I have learned many things that will help me improve; when playing football we need to work as a team, concentrate and listen to our coaches”.
Leah is clearly living the dream! I was keen to find out more so I asked Leah if she could pick one skill she would like to improve on and pick one player she would like to be like when she is older. “In the future I want to improve my keepie-uppies and one day I hope to play for Scotland just like Rachel Corsie, my favourite player.”
Thanks for the interview Leah! It was a pleasure! A little birdie has also told me that already, at the young age of seven, Leah has received a Sportsmanship award and a signed Scotland top for encouraging not only her own team, but recognising strengths in other opposition players. What a fantastic and model attitude. Good luck for the future Leah and I’m sure one day, in the not too distant future, I might be cheering you on in a Scotland Ladies strip!
Motherwell FC is so much more than just a football team. It’s a long-term development plan that has the player at the centre.
A child attending the centre will not only benefit from through an increased range of ability as a player and improving fitness, but will also have their education at the heart as well as developing leadership skills, building self confidence, provide individuals with nutritional and injury prevention information, sports psychology sessions and injury prevention.
If you would like more information regarding the performance centre Please call 01698 239926 or email email@example.com.