Is Patience a Sin?

Date: 18th June 2021

The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:

 

Is patience a sin?

It’s tough just now to keep track of the managerial merry go round and be abreast of which club shall have a new manager come August 2021 which is different from the one they had in June 2021.

But there shall be quite a few.

There is however just the one that has caused more headlines than when people found the irony in a sentence with David Martindale’s name.

Dundee United and Thomas Courts.

There is a legacy involved when it comes to either Aberdeen or Dundee United.

The Dons got away with it because they appointed a former player who could lay claim to being a bit of a legend. I am not sure just how much of a claim to being a legend Stephen Glass would actually make himself, but you can see people clambering over the “one of us” argument.

United did not have access to that style of luxury. They have doubled down on the unfortunateness of the appointment in that they have a guy who most don’t know and the audacity, not just to promote from within but one of them community/ladies/youth guys who are deemed just about good enough to do the mini kicks stuff for the SFA but the serious Premier Leagues games… come on… let’s get serious…

And yet, one of the emerging debates we have all had over the last few years has been about how we need to “grow our own”. Many moan about how we need to develop the next generation from within. The talent spotters and the scouts need to get real, they say, and they need to deliver into the hands of really good coaches at the top, the raw talent and we all should marvel and watch as they develop into the types of players not seen since…

Kieran Tierney…

Billy Gilmour…

Callum MacGregor…

Now, let me be honest. I have no idea if Thomas Courts is any good. Frankly as an Ayr United fan, I could be forgiven for not giving two hoots, but I do care.

I care because I have seen the style and the type of work that has gone into grassroots football over the years in local clubs, community initiatives and the weekly sessions in the October mist, that volunteers have put in throughout this gilded land. If we took the effort going into youth football and had that matched to our expectations, we would be able to win the world cup every four years for perpetuity. The length and breadth of Scotland is hoatching with activity, brimming with enthusiasm and held back by cynicism, skepticism and a national need for a quick fix.

But that’s Scottish football for ye…

If an Academy is not producing 5 or 6 new players for the first team every year, then some supporters are baying for blood, calling it a failure and condemning the people behind such a thing as incompetent.

I, however, retain very positive ideals about the people involved in the development game. I reckon we have the depth, in most of the country, to start providing more Tierneys and more Gilmours. I would suggest that a man, or woman or non-binary individual, who has come through the ranks of the development game will have one thing I don’t have – the experience on the ground to back that opinion up.

They have the eye for why we have great players at 15 years of age, but they never make a Premiership squad. They shall know the frustration of seeing a club value overseas players as quick fixes whilst the likes of a wee lad from the outskirts of the town with the backside out his trousers who can pass, dribble and do a shift at Almondvale on a rain drenched Tuesday night, desnt even get to the bench.

In short both they know what added value actually means when it comes to growing your own – and the patience required to do it.

At the current rate of young people graduating into the leagues form our youth set up, we could be looking for another Tierney or Gilmour, or Souness, or Dalglish, or Law for a long time to come otherwise.

Of course, another graduate of youth football now in a hot seat is Malky McKay, this time at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. His is another appointment that I shall be watching with great interest. It seems like we are beginning to see the development of something new in youth football – not just the progression for young players but for coaches who may have the quality, experience and vision for the future of our game…

What’s not to like…

Until the first run of bad results… not much…

It might not make me an Arab, but it shall make me a cheerleader for their approach to the game.


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