Russell Latapy had the opportunity to witness and experience up close a practice session of the Scotland national senior team recently as part of his training in the UEFA Pro License Course in Scotland.
The 45-year-old Latapy is currently an assistant coach with Portuguese club Boavista but his focus is completing the “pro” license which will place him among an elite bunch of managers in Europe.
The UEFA pro licence is the final coaching qualification available, and follows the completion of the UEFA “B” and ‘A’ Licence It is required by anyone who wishes to manage a club in the top level of the nation’s league system on a permanent basis and such a licence is also required to manage in in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
Commenting on the course, Latapy said, “One of the things about the Pro license besides a lot of stuff you are privy to, is that we have about 24 candidates who are at about the same level of coaching and we bounce a lot of things off each other and you learn a lot that way as well. It is really good and interesting and it really sets you up well for coaching and being able to manage a team in many different circumstances and situations.”
In relation to observing the Scotland session, “Latas” was asked about the challenges of preparing a national team for an international game, having once led the T&T team.
“It’s very different to preparing a club team. It’s difficult. You know what exactly what happens after a league game and what players you can count on because of injuries etc. And then there’s the question of the opponents and the way you want to set up to play against them in the limited time you have to work with the players in preparation for the game,” he said.