The UEFA Study Group Scheme – heralding a new era in football technical co-operation across Europe – is now in full swing, with associations meeting to exchange knowledge from one side of the continent to the other.
The scheme is an initiative of UEFA President Michel Platini, and aims to facilitate the greater exchange of technical know-how and expertise. It will also look to raise pan-European standards through, for example, visits by association specialists – with the help of UEFA funding – to gather technical knowledge in other associations, particularly at their clubs.
The UEFA Study Group Scheme, in which all 53 UEFA member associations are involved, will run for four years until June 2012 and will see member associations visiting one another to share knowledge, experience and best practice in coach education, youth, women's and grassroots football. Austria were the inaugural hosts at Linz in late August. Since then, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Norway (chaired by Per Ravn Omdal, chairman of UEFA's development and technical assistance committee) and Finland have hosted visits from fellow associations, with grassroots football and youth football the focal points. All together, 157 seminar opportunities are in the pipeline for this season. Where possible, each trip should have different participants and an alternative study focus.
Associations have been visiting Russia this week to swap knowledge about youth football, and three further seminars are upcoming. In Belgium, with UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh in attendance, it will centre on coach education; in Croatia where they will deal with youth football in the presence of UEFA development and technical assistance committee member Iljo Dominkovič; and in Switzerland, focusing on élite youth football, with UEFA's head of football education services Frank Ludolph present.
Click here for more information on the UEFA Study Group scheme.
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