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Wotte: Scotland must adapt

Scottish Football Association performance director Mark Wotte says the country has to pay more attention to the way young players are developed.

Last Updated: 27/03/13 at 22:57 Post Comment

Mark Wotte: Wants a change of philosophy in Scottish football

Mark Wotte: Wants a change of philosophy in Scottish football

Wotte feels Scotland's early exit from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers is the kick that should finally tell those in charge that something is seriously wrong within the senior national team.

The 2-0 defeat by Serbia was their sixth Group A fixture without victory and means their 15-year wait to compete in a major finals continues.

Wotte pointed to Belgium, currently topping their qualifying group, as a shining example of how a country can re-establish itself on the international stage following a period of stagnation.

In a blog published on the SFA's website, he said: "Fifteen years have passed since we last qualified for a major tournament. It is too long for a country with such a proud history and such a passionate support.

"But we have two options: we either wallow in self-pity, or we address the reasons behind that decline. We have to change our philosophy and our approach to elite talent identification and development.

"To borrow the wisdom of Einstein: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

"The reality is that in the time since Scotland opened France 98 against Brazil, many nations across the continent have evolved at a rate superior to our own, both physically and technically.

"We have little alternative but to accept that inconvenient truth and do something about it.

"The recent successes of Germany, Spain, Holland and now Belgium have happened by design. Through the Scottish FA's performance programme, we aim to implement and execute our own plan to create a more prosperous future for the game, with more skilful and dynamic footballers.

"It will take time but crucially, the process is under way. Twelve years ago, Belgium did likewise and now have a generation of top-class players excelling in the top leagues in the world.

"Spain, once derided as perennial underachievers, have taken world football to a new level of performance. Recently, we also provided a mid-term report for our seven regional performance schools, where 120 of the country's most talented players enjoy a football education as part of the curriculum.

"More time dedicated to individual skills development will only make you a better player. The first-year intake are 12-years-old. In eight years' time, they should be established players at their clubs and the best should form part of the national team."

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