George Adams Interview (2)

Last updated : 13 May 2002 By Firparkcorner

George Adams at the press conference announcing the new management team

What sort of scouting system do we have in place now?

When we took over, the scouting at youth development level was pretty haphazard. In the ten or so weeks since we arrived we have put a structure in place which, I'm sure, in years to come will bring quality players through. We have scouts at all different age levels down to 11s and 12s. We now have three coaches at the club with Youth Licences and we are probably one of the best qualified clubs in the country in that respect.

Do you still coach youngsters yourself or do you oversee proceedings?

I oversee but I like to get the tracksuit on now and again if there's something to be done its 'hands on'. We are all part of a team and everyone does what is needed. The most important thing is that there is plenty of quality in the team.

Who are the coaches?

At U11/12, Jim Mullen and Ricky Reid; 13s, Colin Campbell and Brian Reynolds; 14s, Gordon Young and Davie Kirkwood; 15s, Graham Diamond. We also have Nobby Clark who does match analysis and also helps out in developing the younger age groups. It's a big team and we're here to make it work.

What timescale do you have for the production of this young talent?

In the case of the Celtic lads I spoke about earlier, they were the first group we had at age 12/13 and they are now 16s playing in the U17 team, so I would say about four or five years. But we now have coaches to work with the boys already at the club and these guys (Graham Diamond and Chris McCart) will be able to improve them. That's a most important point. These quality coaches will enhance what we already have.

We also have the former Motherwell player Peter Miller doing a bit of scouting for us at first and second division level.

Do you find that as some of the present first team are so young that you have work to do with them?

James McFadden is eighteen we have a lot of good young players and there's a fair bit of potential. But you have to watch with youngsters that they are not pushed too fast. It's like a tree - if you feed it properly it will become stronger, it's the same with a player. You can force feed it and it becomes brittle, you don't want that with a young man, you want to give him every opportunity. If you're an apprentice plumber or joiner it takes time to learn the trade, it's exactly the same in football.

What about Stevie Hammell? He's nineteen and has been our first choice left back since he was seventeen. Is he due for a rest?

It wouldn't say that. Stevie has done particularly well. Like any young boy, now and again there's a wee hiccup. You can spend millions on a player and not get the same consistency as with Stevie. But these decisions are down to the manager. Stevie has done particularly well.

The interview continues....