Scotland let down by grassroots coaching, says Box Soccer Midlothian’s Murray

editorial image

Hard work, perseverance and better coaching at grassroots level will help develop Scotland’s top young talent.

That is the view of the head coach of education at Hearts Academy Darren Murray, whose Box Soccer Midlothian academy are offering over 50 free places to youngsters aged between six and 13 this Easter holidays.

Box Soccer, the brainchild of Ian Cathro the former Newcastle United and Valencia coach and Hearts manager, is an unique coaching system helping to develop talented youngsters. It is based on giving young footballers more touches of the ball, dribbling, decision making and one v one situations.

Murray, who holds a Uefa Pro Licence, told the Advertiser: “We do a lot of technical work with the young players. We work on skills and positions and try to take what we’ve learned into games to try to provoke a bit of thought. Camps are mixture of fun, learning and enjoyment. It helps to boost discipline and set standards.”

Thanks to a partnership with 99 Ventures, Box Soccer Midlothian are able to offer 54 free places to youngsters this Easter at their Beeslack High School four-day training camp, in Penicuik, and they hope to be able to roll out more free camps in the future.

Murray believes the standard of coaching needs to be improved in this country to help develop better footballers.

He said: “I think the biggest thing that lets this country down is the grassroots coaching. I’m not blaming the parents that volunteer their free time to coach but money needs to be invested into grassroots football so that they can be mentored. Better coaches will help improve the standard of players.”

Murray also feels that players are too quick to throw in the towel when the going starts to get tough but with the right coaching and encouragement they can get through it and reap the benefits.

He said: “I think in general young people quit when something is too difficult. In terms of society we have to make them stronger, it’s a collective approach through parents, grandparents, coaches and that’s what I like about Box Soccer, the youngsters persevere through the tough bit to reach their full potential.”

Alan Stables of 99 Ventures said: “I hope that all the children on the camp enjoy the experience and that we see them again, along with even more children in future camps. I’m confident this camp will be a big success which we can then use as a platform to expand the project as a whole.”