The Hibernian Academy has devised a long-term player development plan that offers talented individuals a clear development pathway to the first team. Our comprehensive curriculum has been designed by experts in coaching, child development, football science and teaching.

The curriculum comprises the following two key elements of Technical Coaching and Football Medicine and Science


Each age group has a specific curriculum delivered over 4 x 8 weekly training blocks with pre-block goal setting and post block assessment. Over a season, each player enjoys 5 individual feedback session with their coach.

Our curriculum ensures we deliver the right training at the right time in the right way, depending on a player’s age, physical maturation, preferred learning style and ability. It is split into 5 phases:

  • Pre-Academy Phase (up to U10)
  • Junior Academy Phase (U11 to U12)
  • Youth Academy Phase (U13 to U16)
  • Professional Academy Phase (U17 to U18)
  • Development or Transition phase (U16 upwards)

Every year group participates in 4 technical sessions a week along with 3 strength and conditioning sessions, as well as a games schedule organised by the SFA amongst other Academies. All the sessions will offer enjoyment but are designed to challenge the players. Our aim is to offer 14 hours of contact time a week with each player in the Academy.

As an Elite Performance Academy, games against other elite academies are organised by Club Academy Scotland and take place over a Saturday (Junior Academy 11-12’s) and Sunday (Youth Academy 13-16’s). This helps ensure that our players develop by playing “best v best” matches throughout a season. Fixtures are released by CAS for the half season ahead with game locations and KO times agreed by each Academy in the week prior to the weekend fixtures. In January 2018, the U11 to U16 age groups will move to a March to November season.

The pre-academy phase has three main aims: to introduce players to the fundamental skills that they will be able to take back to their junior clubs and school teams; to enable players to become familiar with the facility, staff and surroundings at Hibernian Football Club; to assess players that might join our full Academy programme at a later date.
Our youngest boys will be given the opportunity to develop in a variety of positions with the aim of giving them all round ball mastery. The curriculum has several strands including technical, tactical, physical, psychological, social, life skills and video analysis etc.
Coaches will start to instil a practice mentality at this age.

As boys reach the older age groups, the emphasis on tactical development becomes greater. However, technical development will still underpin the training programme. Position-specific master classes are introduced in this phase as players start to hone their skills to focus on one or two positions.

The coaches instilling a practice and winning mentality at this age. The curriculum will have a greater emphasis on tactical development and place greater demands on the players to see how they cope with the modern professional game. Players that excel in the U15 to U18 squads are quickly accelerated to the Development squad where they will train in order to challenge themselves further.
On leaving full time education the most talented players are given an opportunity to embark upon a two year contract (also referred to as an apprenticeship). A key component at this stage is for players to undertake 6 or 12 monthly development “loans” with other professional clubs in any of the senior leagues in Scotland which enables them to train with Hibernian but play for their “loan” team at the weekend.

The Development Squad programme will mirror many aspects of the first team squad as the development player’s work alongside senior players at The Hibernian Training Centre. Players that excel in the Development Squad are quickly accelerated to the first team squad where they will train in order to challenge themselves further.


The aim of the Academy Football Science program is to develop athletic, educated, physical & mentally robust players that possess exceptional physical qualities essential for consistent levels of high performance.

Mobility, stability, strength, power, speed, and agility are all targeted through strength & conditioning sessions delivered by highly qualified and experienced staff. 

All ages groups from u11s to u18s will attend three thirty-minute strength & conditioning sessions per week. The focus of these sessions will vary across each age group and reflect the stage of development for each squad.

All Academy players attend three football science testing sessions each season. One during pre- season, one mid-season and the final testing session is held just prior to the conclusion of the season.

The sessions are designed to monitor the player’s physical development and enable comparisons to be made to age group and maturation norms.

Each season the results from the various age groups are used to tailor the programme to meet the specific needs of the players.