THE new manager of the Scotland National Cerebral Palsy Football team has said he hopes to put in foundations for further success after being appointed to the role last month. 

Speaking to The National, new manager Billy McAdam (below, left), says the team has had a “productive year” despite a tough European Championships where the side lost all three group games but managed to pick up a win against Italy.

“We struggled at the Euros in Italy with injuries and people not being able to come because it’s a big commitment,” he explained.

The National:

“But we basically secured our qualification for the World Championships next year which was a big achievement given where we were.

“To beat an improved Italy team was an achievement for the guys so we want to build on that and put in foundations for our success going forward.”

McAdam has been coaching for the best part of 20 years, having previously worked with Linlithgow Rose and the Scotland women’s team.

He’s taken over from Greig Taylor as head coach, who has stepped back into an administration role.

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“As well as having played and worked with outfielders during my career, I’m also a specialised goalkeeping coach,” McAdam explained.

“Greig offered me the role with the team last year. I became more involved at the Euros in Italy because we had a coach who was struggling from a health perspective and so I took on his duties.

“He asked me to apply for the job when the time came around as he thought I came across really well with the players.”

McAdam believes Taylor stepping into an admin role is crucial as it means the squad can be provided with the best possible environment to thrive in.

“You couldn’t possibly have one person doing all the coaching and all the admin. So Greig is now involved in the admin and the fundraising which means I can concentrate on the football side.”

Despite that difficult Euros, the coach believes his side are heading in the right direction and he is positive about what the future holds.

He said: “We have the World Championships scheduled next year but it’s still to be decided if we’ll be in those or the World Cup which is separate but all that will be based on our rankings.

“What we’re looking to do is establish our conditions for success going forward, making sure the team has everything it needs to provide a successful playing outlook and improve our performances.

“So that means having everything in place from our training facilities to proper sessions, making sure our preparation, both mental and physical, is right.

“All these things are massive. It’s not just a case of having the best facilities but making sure we have everything so the players don’t have to worry about that side of things.

“We control everything from our side and they control what they can and that’s how we’ll be successful.”

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It was only seven years ago that the team lost its funding so they’ve come a long way and McAdam believes an increase in accessibility will only help the team go further.

“From a coaching perspective, there was a point where I didn’t know we had a CP squad so I had my eyes opened to it and being in the Euros you see teams who’ve really improved," he said. 

“It was a real eye-opener for myself and there’s so much work goes on behind the scenes by Scottish Disability Sport and guys like Greig as well.

“Hopefully all this will put us in better stead for next year.”