The first group of students from a trailblazing football coaching degree – delivered by Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and the Scottish Football Association – have celebrated their graduation.

The first degree of its kind in Scotland, the Football Coaching, Performance and Development BSc Honours programme launched in 2020.

Following four years of study, which included teaching for UEFA and Scottish FA qualifications alongside skills such as performance analysis, sport science and leadership, fifteen students have completed the course.

They joined fellow students from ENU’s School of Applied Sciences in collecting their degrees during a graduation ceremony at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Wednesday.

New graduates from the course have spoken with pride about the difference it has made to their fledgling careers in the game.

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Ewan McLevy, who is now working as an academy coach at Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock, is among them.

The 24-year-old from Troon said: "I look at back at the course with fond memories, it was excellent.

"We came in in September 2020 and we were a brand new group. There was a bit of trial and error as we got used it.

"After a couple of months, I caught the bug and never looked back.

“The beauty of the course is that it touched on the things you might not consider, like psychology, analysis and sports science. I think I speak for all the group when I say it was a real eye-opener.

"The lecturers were amazing and really helped us understand it all. They took examples from other sports, which helped it all come together.

"I couldn't recommend the programme any higher. For someone starting on the pathway, given the links with the Scottish FA, it couldn't give you a better opportunity.

“If football is your passion, it will open doors.”

Fellow graduate Aidan Spalding, who is also 24 years old and from Glasgow, has recently started working as a first team analyst at Hamilton Academical.

He said: "I'm gutted to leave to be honest! The four years have been unreal - I've loved it.

"Having that one interest of working in football all the time has made us really close as a group.

"It was very well rounded and gave us a chance to learn about other sides of the game.

"Without this I wouldn't have had the opportunity to get a full-time analysis job – or have had experiences like going away with Scotland Women’s development teams.

"If you enjoy football, the course is for you. It will take your coaching to the next level."