Gordon Strachan (Getty)
Soccer with the Strachans
By Tom Phelan, BBC Blast sport reporter
As Chris Coleman’s Sky Blues kick off a new season, former Coventry City manager Gordon Strachan is kick-starting his new campaign with the help of his two sons.
Gordon, Gavin and Craig are busy launching Strachan Soccer Schools and are running their first courses here in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Following some successful taster sessions, the courses start in September and will be running from Caludon Castle, Stratford High School, North Leamington and Rugby School. The idea behind the schools is not to try and scout the next Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, but more about letting youngsters learn the game and learn to love it.
Former Celtic boss Gordon said: “What we are trying to do is make them love the game. We hope that they can understand what team spirit is all about and working with each other and respecting each other.”
All three Strachans have extensive experience of professional football, with Gordon winning silverware such as the European Cup Winners' Cup, FA Cup and the old First Division at clubs such as Manchester United, Leeds United and Aberdeen. Gavin and Craig have had less success on the pitch than their father, with Craig having to retire after only four years as a football professional due to a long term and persistent injury.
The soccer school wants parents to be involved, but only in a positive manner.
Gavin takes on Sol Campbell at Spurs in 1998
When Gordon, who represented Scotland at two World Cups, was asked about his experiences playing football as a child he said: “I learnt most of my good stuff when I was a young boy. You know how to dribble and pass, once I got a few kicks in the shins I knew it was time to pass. I didn’t need any mums or dads screaming at me from the touchline telling me what to do.”
Gordon might have to adjust his coaching skills as he's used to dealing with top class professional footballers but now has to live up to his reputation by getting the best out of the youngsters.
At one of the taster sessions he admitted: “My hardest half an hour coaching in my life was just then with the four and five year olds, trying to keep their attention.”
Asked whether youngsters in the area followed their local team or big clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea, Gavin, who played at Coventry, replied: “No. And that’s great to see because the area is great for football there is a real interest in it and hopefully Coventry can crack on and have a good season.”
last updated: 11/08/2009 at 09:55