Performance director appointed to 'drive forward' Scotland success

Graeme Jones will focus on implementing a 'world class system' across the men's and women's teams.

SFA appoint new performance director to ‘drive forward’ national teams’ success SNS Group

The Scottish Football Association has appointed a new performance director to “help drive forward” the success of the national teams.

Graeme Jones, who has spent two years as head of football science and medicine and six years as the head of high performance at the SFA, will take up the new role.

His focus will be across the men’s and women’s national teams from the first team squads down to the youth teams, with responsibility for implementing “a world-class system and winning culture” to all international players.

On being confirmed into the role on Monday he said: “I am extremely proud to be appointed Performance Director at such an exciting time for our national teams,” he said. “Obviously the immediate priority is to prepare for UEFA EURO 2024 and the experience of UEFA EURO 2020, coupled with qualifying automatically, has enabled us to plan ahead and book our preferred training headquarters in Germany, as well as confirm our first two friendly matches, against Netherlands and Northern Ireland.

“Preparation is a key element of my new role and I look forward to reinforcing the excellent relationships I have with the respective national team head coaches as well as the players at the various stages of their international careers.

“The culture of performance has improved dramatically during my time at the association and the role of Performance Director is key to enhancing the experience for players within the set-up but also to provide a consistency and expectation for every player who enters the international pathway.

“It is important we have an overarching strategy and philosophy, but it is essential that it is data-led and player-informed, to make sure we have can provide a tailored approach for each individual and to give clubs the comfort that their players have the best experience possible while on international duty. The football department at the association and the network of specialists we call upon from clubs will be integral to our future success and I look forward to supporting them as we seek to continue to raise the standards of performance on and off the field.”

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive said: “Graeme has been a respected member of the Football Department and the national teams’ set-ups for many years and this new role is in recognition of the part he has played in the success, most recently as an integral member of Steve Clarke’s backroom team within the men’s national team.

“He is also well respected within the squads and by the club performance departments who are reliant on the information his team provide before, during and after every camp. The role of Performance Director has evolved over time, and we believe the focus should be on optimising that international experience within our national teams.

“Technical aspects within the association – including Club Academy Scotland, Elite Coach Development and JD Performance Schools – will remain under the direction of the Chief Football Officer, Andy Gould. This positive change will ensure we can enhance all the performance support areas, whilst connecting with our ongoing technical work, ensuring we improve our overall player development system and performances across the board.”

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