Dundee United academy director Andy Goldie set Billy Gilmour on the path to success – honing the Scotland superstar’s talents.
Goldie’s part in Gilmour’s meteoric rise has convinced him there should be no limit to what United’s young players strive for.
For many the journey to the top will start at Baldragon Academy as part of Dundee United’s elite partnership with the school.
Not all players coming through United’s system will make it to Champions League level.
Former SFA elite performance coach Goldie is fully aware of this but is keen to encourage youngsters to reach for the stars.
𝕽 𝖊 𝖑 𝖊 𝖓 𝖙 𝖑 𝖊 𝖘 𝖘 .
Two graduates from the same age group, two very different journeys but two incredible mindsets and resilience to overcome the challenges they’ve faced so far.
— OUR ACADEMY (@dufcacademy) October 17, 2021
“When I came here there was a culture of wanting to be the best in the street,” said Goldie.
“That can only get you so far.
“That’s not going to enable to to develop a Champions League player.
“We wanted a school who matched our values and ambitions. It has to be a school that could deliver the same cultural values that we have.
“We have a very clear vision to produce and develop Champions League players.
“One of our key cultural aims is to celebrate achievement and we celebrate everything our boys achieve. it doesn’t matter how small it is.
“Ultimately, we want to produce players and young people who will achieve success at their level.
“Not everyone will become a Champions League player and we fully understand that.
“But we want to provide them with a Champions League experience so they have the life skills to transition into a different career path, if needed.”
Andy Goldie: Baldragon is integral to Dundee United academy
United’s partnership with Baldragon is an integral part of the academy Goldie oversees.
The £27.9 million school was opened by Dundee City Council in 2018.
It currently provides state-of-the art sport facilities for 20 United academy youngsters. All academy stars are Baldragon pupils.
The Dundee United academy has already begun to bear fruit under Goldie’s watch.
Several youngsters have made it to the first team.
Teen sensation Kerr Smith has become the youngest ever Dundee United player to star in a derby.
And the tie-in is beneficial to both United and the Dundee-based school.
Pupils who are part of the United-Baldragon partnership will be given 1,280 additional hours of training.
This takes place over a four-year programme.
“Being able to offer Dundee United and our academy at Baldragon is a dream come true,” said the school’s head teacher Hugh McAninch.
“We are both on a journey, that is really clear.
“Baldaragon Academy is on a journey as is Dundee United.
“When we looked what Andy wanted to do through the academy and what we are aiming for. Our values clearly align.
“What we are trying to achieve in terms of football and the education are the same – to give the young people the very best opportunity.”