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Dundee technical director Gordon Strachan says club can take academy ‘to the next level’ with St John’s link-up

Dundee technical director Gordon Strachan.
Former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has endorsed Irvine

Dundee have the chance to take their academy “to the next level” according to the club’s technical director Gordon Strachan.

That’s after the Dens Park club teamed up with the successful St John’s RC High School in the city to host their first-ever performance school, with work starting this summer.

Currently a Scottish FA performance school, Dundee are looking to continue the success of that program in the coming years as they “aim to offer the most comprehensive football and education programme in Scotland”.

Combining education with increased football training through the week, the Dark Blues hope to produce more young players to add to their first team like former St John’s pupils Fin Robertson, Max Anderson and Lyall Cameron.

The target is to give youngsters 10,000 hours of training by the age of 20 as well as focusing on mental conditioning, skills, physical conditioning, tactics and nutrition.

Fin Robertson has been impressive since stepping up to the Dundee first team in the past two seasons.

And the club’s youth chiefs are delighted by the partnership.

Strachan, who joined the club as technical director 18 months ago, said: “This is a chance for us to take the Dundee FC academy to the next level.

“We can now provide top class facilities, opportunities and a platform.

“Then it’s up to the young players to provide the drive to progress to the next level.”

Head of academy Stephen Wright, who came through the ranks at Aberdeen before moving to Rangers, says the move will be of great benefit to young players both on and off the pitch.

He added: “To have the opportunity to spend more time with our young players at a well-established performance school will greatly benefit the players academically and on the football pitch for their future prospects wherever their careers take them.”

In announcing the partnership, a Dundee statement added: “The programme will be complemented by the players accessing some of the best facilities in the city including two grass pitches maintained by DFC groundsmen, a synthetic pitch, sand pitch, four sports halls, a strength and conditioning suite, swimming pool for fitness and recovery, classrooms, and a dedicated office and locker bays.”

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