Head of Children’s Academy Paul Burns has been invited to Benfica’s multi-million pound training complex through the Scottish FA and Erasmus+ this week.
Paul Burns will join a select group of representatives from other clubs across the country, including Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, in a seven-day programme in Lisbon.
From attending U15 and U17 fixtures to Thursday’s Champions League clash between Benfica and Besiktas at the Estádio da Luz, Paul is relishing both an exciting and challenging week ahead.
Paul said said: “We’ve just arrived at our hotel and I’m looking forward to the week ahead – it will be a great experience but it will be challenging too.”
As well as producing a final report, Paul is also tasked with presentations, training observations and practical sessions.
He will also have the task of having to learn some Portuguese, thanks to the funding from the Scottish FA.
[pullquote]They spend over €4million on their youth academy alone so it’s a huge club and I am really looking forward to it.[/pullquote]
And while Burns will have a lot of work on his plate, he believes he wouldn’t be out there if it wasn’t for some key support at the club.
He said: “Scott Leitch and Alan Burrows were hugely helpful and it’s because of their help that I’m able to come out here and benefit from this incredible programme.”
He added: “Greig Paterson at the Scottish FA let me know that I would be attending and it was obviously great news to hear.”
Visiting a club the size of Benfica will certainly bring huge benefits, admits Paul.
He said: “They spend over €4million on their youth academy alone so it’s a huge club and I am really looking forward to it.
“Being able to come out here and experience it and be able to learn more and more everyday is something that it truly exciting, and I can’t wait to get started today.”