'Fascinating, illuminating and humorous' - ex-Motherwell academy director releases new book

Motherwell FC’s former academy director Gordon Young has just released a memoir covering his 20-year coaching career across the globe.
The front cover of Gordon Young's new bookThe front cover of Gordon Young's new book
The front cover of Gordon Young's new book

‘Gordon Young: Licence to Skill’ follows ‘Wee Youngy’ – a lifelong Well fan – from Cambuslang to Kazakhstan and all the pitches in between, providing a fascinating, illuminating and humorous insight into the development of young players, coaching around the world and attaining the much-coveted UEFA Pro-Licence.

The man who was been instrumental in developing the well-respected Motherwell FC Youth Academy – signing and mentoring Scottish football gems such as David Turnbull, Allan Campbell, Jake Hastie and James Scott – tells how he begged, borrowed and stole the hearts of a community to help make it the highly respected academy that it is today.

Gordon also played for Motherwell reserves as a teenager and managed all teams associated with the Steelmen from the U9s to the first team at Fir Park - as he was caretaker manager on three occasions - between 2000-2013.

Never has the UEFA Pro Licence – arguably the world’s highest football coaching qualification – been given such a detailed and entertaining review of procedures, tasks, challenges and assignments from someone who has actually completed it with flying colours.

On his journey he has worked as assistant to Craig Brown and Archie Knox, Stuart McCall and Mark McGhee at Motherwell, been international academy manager for Sheffield United based mainly in India, was assistant to Mixu Paatelainen at Dundee United and the Latvian national side, Barry Smith at East Fife and Paul Hartley at Falkirk and currently at Cove Rangers.

He also led Latvian league side FK Liepaja to the Europa League qualifiers, and spent a year as Director of Coaching at Impact Soccer in California, USA.

Gordon (57) still lives in Motherwell and was helped to bring his story to the page by friend and fellow Well fan Stuart Hall, a journalist by trade, who also played football with Gordon towards the end of his career.

Gordon said: “I wrote this book during the lockdown as like everyone, I think it was a real time for reflection. My coaching story breaks down my development, the mentors I have had, the roles I have carried out, my run-in with depression and the revealing and funny experiences and adventures I have had, in a simple, engaging and entertaining way. I hope readers will laugh-out-loud at the tales involving the great and the good of the football world, and find my own football philosophy and emotional take on the sport I love refreshing.”

Details of how to buy the book can be found by visiting the ‘Gordon Young: Licence to Skill’ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LicenceToSkill , which also has filmed interviews with Gordon and various photographs from his 20 year career.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​