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Project Brave under discussion

Fans quiz SFA chief; Murray wins in Dubai

Stewart ReganFootball fans from across the country are to be given the chance to question Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan on radical proposals to improve the national team’s performance.

Project Brave has been designed to overhaul Scotland’s youth academy system and will be discussed by Regan at Supporters Direct Scotland’s annual Supporters Summit later this month.

Led by the governing body’s new performance director Malky Mackay, the project will see Scotland’s 29 elite academies reduced to a maximum of 16. It will be the main focus of the event at Glasgow’s Hampden Park, which is open to all fans.

“Project Brave is a project that will benefit all of Scottish football,” said Regan.

“We have been pleased with the progress of our strategy so far, both with the performance schools and our national youth team successes, but it is important that we look at the most significant part of that pathway – the club academy system.

“Everyone in the game acknowledges that for a country of our size we have too many elite academies.

“Best v Best is one of the funding principles of the strategy and so looking at fewer players in the structure, with a more focused games programme, will allow more investment in the most talented players.

“That, in turn, allows those not playing regularly for their academy teams to play more often and, ideally, rejoin that pathway.

“I look forward to discussing these proposals at the Supporters Direct Scotland Summit later this month.”

There will be a Q&A with the chief executive after his presentation and Head of SD Scotland, Andrew Jenkin added: “We’re delighted Stewart will be joining us on the day. It’s crucial that supporters are engaged in major changes to the game we all love and that they have opportunities to ask the necessary questions.”

The Supporters Summit is the only national event that brings all supporters together to share best practice, hear from a range of speakers and engage in workshops that they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so.

Also speaking at Hampden are Stuart Wallace, Foundation of Hearts’ new chairman, David Conn of The Guardian newspaper who will be discussing the future of community ownership in Scottish football and new Supporters Direct chief executive Ashley Brown.

This year’s Summit will also see the launch of the 2017 Scottish Football Supporters Survey. 14,000 supporters responded to last year’s survey, with results and key asks being presented to the Scottish FA Congress.

During recent weeks all key stakeholders – Scotland’s governing bodies, professional clubs, and supporters – have all been invited to contribute towards the survey’s content.

Tickets for the event are available on a ‘pay what you want’ basis from the Supporters Direct Scotland website (supporters-direct.scot/summit), with proceeds split between the organisation’s charity partners for the event ‘Football Memories’ (part of Alzheimer Scotland) and Motor Neurone Disease Scotland.

Dubai Duty Free Championships: Andy Murray claimed his first title of the year with a straight-sets victory over Fernando Verdasco.

The world number one, who was runner-up here in 2012, overcame a shaky start when he was broken twice at the start of the match, but a strong recovery saw him seal a 6-3 6-2 victory over the Spaniard.

 

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