European Exchange ProjectDate: Friday, 28th Mar 2003
Dunfermline Athletic are setting their sights on overseas markets through their recent participation within the European Funded Leonardo Da Vinci project alongside Cumbernauld College.
John Ritchie – Head of Youth Development for Dunfermline Athletic together with Dr Patrick Harte and Jim O’Donnell who have been administering the Leonardo Da Vinci Scheme - have just returned from a three day visit to Olympiakos C.F.P.
This European project allows the exchange of athletes throughout Europe and enables them to embark on talent development, education and cultural exchanges. Through this scheme DAFC have been paired with one of Greece’s largest and most popular clubs Olympiakos CFP. This will allow the DAFC youth team (U18’s) plus two DAFC coaches to spend three weeks with the Greek side as part of their pre-season training programme.
The DAFC U18’s and their coaches will have the chance to train with Olympiakos’ coaches alongside their own youth team and the Dunfermline coaches will get a chance to pick up tips from Greece’s leading football team. This visit will take place as part of their pre-season training programme and DAFC had the choice of going to any one of Olympiakos twelve training sites throughout Greece.
It has been decided that during DAFC’s proposed stay at the training facility, Olympiakos will be sending their entire youth team and coaches to Corfu at the same time to allow the two teams to train side by side.
The aim of the scheme is not just to develop player development but also assists with the development of coaching staff.
John Ritchie – Head of Youth Development at DAFC commented – ‘Our involvement in this scheme provides a tremendous opportunity for our young players. To get the chance to train with one of Greece’s top teams and to experience playing in a foreign country at such an early age is definitely an experience which will stay with our young players for the rest of their lives.’