The UEFA Study Group Scheme, an innovative project which has ushered in a new era in football technical co-operation across Europe, has been hailed as a resounding success at the end of the first 12 months of its four-year cycle.
Know-how and expertise
An initiative of UEFA President Michel Platini, the scheme aims to facilitate a greater exchange of technical know-how and expertise. It will also look to raise pan-European standards through visits by association specialists – with the help of UEFA funding – to gather technical knowledge from other associations, and their clubs.
All 53 UEFA national associations have taken part in the project and 51 visits have been successfully completed: ten have focused on grassroots football, 16 on élite youth activities, nine on the women's game and 16 on coach education. A total of 153 groups of generally eleven members have travelled to other associations, and no fewer than 1,677 football technicians around Europe have participated in the scheme's first year. "If the project had been a film, it would win an Oscar," UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh said in summing up the project's progress since its inception.
Valuable technical exchange
Feedback has been almost universally positive. The scheme is seen as an extremely valuable technical exchange encouraging development. In addition, it stimulates the role of those who take ideas and concepts back to their own associations for deployment. Senior technical staff in each association have also played a full role in the event. "Every association has put on its best face, and there is a great element of pride involved," said Roxburgh. "We will continue to refine and improve the scheme in the coming seasons."
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