Former National head coach Russell Latapy is among a new intake of UEFA Pro License candidates for a two-day session at Hamden Park in Scotland starting today.
A procession of world-class coaches have graduated from this prestigious course and a roll-call of familiar faces have applied for the current two-year license, the highest echelon of the coaching ladder.
The UEFA Pro Licence is the final coaching qualification available, and follows the completion of the UEFA’B’ and ‘A’ Licenses. While the course takes a year to complete, it is fully flexible to allow coaches to pick up modules the following year. Such a license is also required to manage in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League.
Each current manager of a top-flight team in Europe was set a deadline of 2010 to acquire the license, or else face losing his post. Among the entrants for the 2013 course are Rangers captain Lee McCulloch, Latapy, Dundee manager Barry Smith, Leeds United legend Brian Deane, now coach of Norwegian side Sarpsborg, and Everton coach Duncan Ferguson.
The 44-year-old Latapy has been in Portugal doing some football work with FC Porto since his tenure as national team coach ended in earlier 2011.
Jim Fleeting, the Scottish FA Director of Football Development, believes the Class of 2013 further enhances the reputation of the Pro License course.
“Over many years the Scottish FA has worked hard and, indeed, prided itself on the standard of our Coach Education programme. The UEFA Pro License is the jewel in the crown for those who aspire to reach the top, but the same preparation goes into that course as we put into the Children’s License.
“Our Coach Education programme has been supported by some of the greatest coaches in the world, Sir Alex Ferguson, Marcello Lippi, Jose Mourinho and Walter Smith, but it is the content that brings such high-calibre applicants every year, especially to the Pro License.
“I am really excited by the diversity of coaches on the course. We are welcoming coaches from Norway, the Caribbean, the Barclays Premier League in England, and from the burgeoning area of women’s football.
“I am sure they will all emerge equipped with the necessary skills for a career in coaching at the highest level, in whatever arena.
“The course has continued to evolve and, acknowledging the globalisation of football, for the first time ever coaches will require to learn a foreign language in order to achieve their license.
“In modern football, the ability to travel abroad can have an impact on a coach’s employment prospects.It will be a huge advantage to those coaches to be able to speak a second language. It shows the commitment and open-mindedness of the coaches that they have embraced this addition to the course.”