NAIRN County were delighted to welcome SFA Senior Football Development Officer for the North Region, Peter Budge to youth team training last night at the start of a six-month placement with the club.
Peter will work alongside the existing Nairn County youth coaches in a mentoring and development role as well as delivering a number of sessions to the club's under-17s and under-15s teams.
The club's Head of Youth Development, Stewart McInnes, said: "This is fantastic news and is a great endorsement of what we are trying to do with the youth side of the club.
"We were approached by Mark Slater, the SFA Club Development Manager for the North, a couple of weeks ago with the offer of Peter coming on board with us to help out for six months and we were delighted to accept.
"Before this season, the club had failed to produce a single regular first team player of its own for about 10 years. That was not down to anything to do with the existing or previous youth team coaches but regardless, it is simply not good enough for this club.
"I also found that there was a lack of cohesion between the different teams at the club and that is something we have already worked hard to try and rectify. With Peter's help, we hope to continue to work towards having a structure in place to solve these problems."
He added: "Peter attended training last night and one of the first things we will look for him to do is to gain an understanding of Ronnie Sharp's philosophy and how he wants the first team to train and play. He will then work with the under-15s and under-17s to tailor their drills to develop the techniques, skills and game awareness that tie-in with what Ronnie wants from players stepping up to the first team.
"This will then give our youth team players a better chance of making it with the first team, as they will already be accustomed to what is required and will not need to be re-educated.
"Once Peter has worked with the coaches to put coaching plans in place, we will also work with him to document everything, so that we can develop a Nairn County Curriculum to put a legacy in place for future years.
"It is going to be a lot of hard work for us all but Peter's track record speaks for itself and I am really excited about working alongside him and I know the coaches are too."
Budge spent over a decade as a player with his home town club, Wick Academy and has also served the Scorries as manager over two spells.
Having attained his UEFA B Licence followed by his Scottish FA Youth Licence, Budge has worked full-time with the SFA for the last decade and played a vital role in the development of the likes of Shane Sutherland, Gary Mackay-Steven and Craig Gunn, who all hail from his native Caithness and have gone on to have stellar careers at SPFL level.