SAFA National Team Selection Process
The following is a "rough guide" to the selection process for the National Team.
1. Initial Recommendations
Most players are initially recommended by clubs and will be watched and recommended by the select committee led by Bruce McNaught, SAFA National Team Manager.
2. Select Competition
Select competitions are also a help with spotting talent - for example the Inter League Trophy allows select teams to play against each other on an annual basis, this gives Bruce the opportunity to watch a concentration of some of the best players in their own domestic league play in a very competitive situation.
3. Training Session Invitations
The next step is the players being invited to regular training sessions where they can the be further assessed by Bruce and his back room staff of coaches.
4. Challenge Games
The final step prior to the International games is a series of challenge games to test out the players in a competitive atmosphere usually against senior professional teams like Stenhousemuir, Stirling Albion, Albion Rovers and Queens Park etc.
5. International Games
The National Team squad then go on to play a series of internationals each year.
Points to Note
a) Players - we would add that players do not always appreciate the amount of dedication required to last the course with regular Sunday training sessions, with the amount of travel involved and midweek games that cut into the players free time.
b) Management - people should bear in mind the amount of ''voluntary'' work put in by individuals together with Bruce turning up at numerous games and making contact with club officials throughout the country to keep the system running smoothly.
c) Support - unfortunately, the SAFA is not as well-funded as the professional game and as such has limited resources/budgets to support the team and its organisation.
We hope this gives some insight into the process involved - there is always room for improvement and we welcome suggestions (and any funding!) that would improve the process and better assist those that give their time and energies to the National Team.