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Hopefully More Scots Will Head To Europe To Further Their Footballing Education

Date: 13th April 2018

This week it was announced that David Bates will leave Rangers this summer and join up with German cracks Hamburg.

It remains to be seen in which league Die Rothosen will be playing in next season as they are currently struggling in the Bundesliga this term but no matter what happens to them, I believe the young defender should be applauded for having the courage to head for the continent.

In fact, I really hope more Scottish talent follows Bates in deciding that they should continue their footballing education abroad.

People will say that Ryan Gauld and Olive Burke haven’t lived up to hype following their spells in Portugal and Germany. I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking.

Both players will have learned a great deal about a new footballing culture, training and diets by heading to these foreign leagues. Just learning different disciplines from coaches and teammates at places like Sporting Lisbon and RB Leipzig will stand these talented young players in good stead in the future.

The youngsters will also try and learn a new language and adapt to a new way of living. That should help in making them more mature, rounded individuals.

Liam Henderson didn’t sit back and pick up a pay cheque at Celtic and wait for the odd first team opportunity. First off, he went out on loan to Norwegian giants Rosenborg and then enjoyed a season at Hibernian. That still wasn’t enough for him to break into Brendan Rodgers side, so instead of playing in the lower leagues of England, the Scottish under-21 internationalist jumped at the chance to play for Italian club Bari in Serie B.

Henderson seems to have settled in well as he has scored twice in his twelve appearances since his January move. He’s helping his side challenge for a promotion place in Italy’s second tier.

I am sure that David Bates will come on leaps and bounds by playing in a country that looks after their young players and has a history of producing top class defensive talents.

Just making the decision to go to Hamburg shows that the twenty-one year old is ambitious and has a hunger to improve!

The young centre-back seems to have his head screwed on:

‘Like Rangers, HSV are (an) iconic club with tremendous history and all the pressures that come with that. They have given me a lot of faith in their recruitment and I can’t wait to kick on and develop further as a player. It was an opportunity I don’t think anyone could turn down.’

Too many young Scots look to England or the Old Firm as being the places to aim for, yet too many get lost when they get there. Do young players from Scotland really learn new things by going to the English Championship? I don’t think so, not to the same degree as they would by going to a German, French or an Italian side.

I honestly believe that the pluses outweigh the negatives when a young Scottish star has the option to play in Europe’s mainland.

Listen even if things don’t work-out off the field, the players will always have a route back to British football and they’ll hopefully come back with an impressive skill-set and a bright outlook.

By Scott Johnston, Editor of The Footy Blog


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