SFA director of football development Jim Fleeting believes that the 33-year-old demonstrated that he had the ingredients to become a talented manager from an early ageChelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was “determined to be the best” from the outset of his coaching journey, according to the Scottish Football Association's (SFA) Jim Fleeting.
Fleeting, director of football at the SFA, helped the 33-year-old gain his coaching badges from C-Licence, B-Licence, A-Licence and Pro Licence at the now famous Inverclyde National Sport Centre in Largs, where Jose Mourinho also studied.
And the SFA director of football development admits that although he saw enough potential in the Portuguese coach, he never envisaged the vast steps Villas-Boas would make in such a short space of time.
"What he did have is a determination to be the best he possibly could be," Fleeting told Press Association Sport.
"He had a drive to find out as much as he possibly could about the subject he was dealing with.
"He had a great attention span, he was a very good listener, and he was very good at putting things across on the field.
"These are the kinds of skills that good coaches have."
Fleeting concedes that at first Villas-Boas never caught his eye but he soon became aware that the youngster was going to go on to big things.
"Andre was very, very good," he said.
"He was very good at sharing with his other colleagues.
"I actually use him as an example. I've used him in the past two courses. One he delivered personally, and in one I used his presentations."
But if fans are expecting Villas-Boas to act like the ‘Special One’, the Scot believes they are going to be disappointed.
"He's quite humble in his achievements," Fleeting said.
"It's nice he has that humility and respect for others."
He added: "Andre is his own man and I'm so pleased that he's his own man.
"We're happy for Andre and his family that he's successful, as we are when we see other coaches come on our courses and do very well.
"We still have contact with them all. There are none of them that you can't pick the phone up and speak to.
"We're a small country, we work hard at what we do, and these guys remember their roots, which is so important to us.
"People keep coming here for some reason - it must be the weather!"
At 21 years old Villas-Boas was recruited by the British Virgin Islands, where he underwent his first managerial challenge.
Former player Avondale Williams revealed that despite Villas-Boas's young appearance, he demonstrated knowledge of the game beyond his years.
"We thought he was a youth coach when he first arrived!" said the former striker, who is a week older than his ex-manager.
"We thought, 'Who's this kid?' When we started working with him, we saw he had a very good knowledge.
"He brought forward a lot of ideas when he came in, considering he was younger than us. He taught us about using our individual skills to become a team and become winners."
Villas-Boas lost his two games in charge of the country, but it has not prevented Williams from using some of the techniques and training drills that he learned from the Portuguese.
"I've managed a local club and used many of his techniques and tactics and am implementing them in the national team," he said.
"We got quite good ideas from him."
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