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Friday, 09 October 2020 10:03

Scotland Under-21s v Czech Republic: Preview

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With the mounting uncertainties surrounding European football due to Covid-19, both sides will be grateful that they can kick on with their UEFA European Championship qualification campaigns. This international break comes quite soon after their last matches that took place in September. 

This game will be the first of two ties for Scotland during the break, as they play San Marino, away from home, after they host the Czech Republic at Tynecastle.

Scot Gemmill said that he was "glad to have international football, so soon after the Lithuania game". Gemmill will be looking to build momentum from September’s win in Vilnius, where Scotland ran out 1-0 victors after a 81st-minute winner from Motherwell midfielder, Allan Campbell.

Gemmill will be glad to have the combative midfielder back in his squad for the upcoming tie with the Czech Republic, as the midfielder has chalked up two goals in his last eight for Motherwell, which is a great return considering he scored five in thirty matches for Motherwell last season.

Goals have been in somewhat short supply during the campaign with only five goals in the six games that have been played. It could be up to the likes of Campbell getting on the scoresheet, for Scotland to come away with a vital three points.

At the other end of the spectrum, Scotland have been robust in defence only conceding only two in six matches. This could be down to players in key defensive areas like Ryan Porteous in central defence and team captain Ross McCrorie, shoring up the midfield, gaining more experience as key members for their clubs and bringing that to their international game. 

In announcing his squad, Gemmill has added Barry Maguire (Motherwell) and Patrick Reading (Ayr United) as well as a newcomer to this level - 18-year-old Harrison Ashby, who has featured in West Ham United’s Carabao Cup campaign this season and could be in the running to make his debut at under-21 level.

Ashby plays as a full back and has picked up caps at under-17 and under-19 level for Scotland. The defender featured in all but one game of the under-19 European Championships qualifying campaign, with the biggest highlight being a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Germany. It is unclear if Ashby will get a starting spot for Scotland on Friday but the promising defender seems to be making significant waves on the international stage for Scotland. 

In the competition, the Czech Republic are yet to lose and have picked up seventeen goals in the seven games that they have played. They also top the statistical charts for the most attempts on goal in the whole competition, beating the likes of France and the Netherlands.

Their coach, Karel Krejci, will be irritated at the number of draws his side have recorded in the competition, jeopardising their lead in the group, despite their attacking displays. Scotland are one of the sides to have silenced Krejci’s free-scoring Czechs in the campaign, with neither side being able to break the deadlock in the reverse tie, that was played back in October 2019.

The main threat in the Czech side would be the 21-year-old central midfielder, Ladislav Krejci (Sparta Prague) who has picked up five goals in the last seven qualifying games. Despite being considered a defensive midfielder who can double up as a central defender, Krejci has picked up two braces in the competition, albeit against San Marino home and away, but has picked up two in five games for his club side, Sparta Prague, showing himself to be more than just a player getting in on the action against lesser opposition.

As it stands, Scotland are currently third in the group with the potential to top the group by the end of the two qualifying games during this international break. Their opponents, the Czech Republic are currently first.

However, Greece, in second, have a game with Lithuania which could see them leapfrog the Czechs to top the group. Scotland are in a position that the goings on elsewhere, doesn’t really affect them as much. They need to get maximum points from the next two games to stand a chance of qualifying from this group.  

Scotland U21 Squad announced:

Lewis Fiorini (NAC Breda)+++

Logan Chalmers (Dundee United)

PJ Morrison (Motherwell)
Ross Doohan (Ross County)++
Kieran Wright (Partick Thistle)+
Harrison Ashby (West Ham United)
Daniel Harvie (MK Dons)
Ross McCrorie (Aberdeen)+
Barry Maguire (Motherwell)
Lewis Mayo (Rangers) 
Tom McIntyre (Reading)
Nathan Patterson (Rangers)
George Johnston (Feyenoord)
Patrick Reading (Ayr United)
Allan Campbell (Motherwell)
Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen)
Stephen Kelly (Ross County)+
Glenn Middleton (Rangers)
David Turnbull (Celtic)
Conor McLennan (Aberdeen)
Fraser Hornby (Stade de Reims)
James Scott (Hull City)

+ on loan from Rangers
++ on loan from Celtic

+++ on loan from Manchester City

Scotland Under 19 Head Coach Billy Stark has named his squad for the upcoming UEFA U19 Championship Elite Round qualifiers in France later this month.
The National side will compete in group 3 and begin their campaign against hosts France on the 25th, followed by Russia on the 28th before ending with Georgia on the 31st.
Only the seven group winners in the Elite Round will advance to the finals of the competition, along with hosts Northern Ireland for the tournament later this year.
Full Squad
Archie Mair - Norwich City
Ross Sinclair - Kelty Hearts
Nathan Patterson - Rangers
Harrison Ashby - West Ham United
Chris Hamilton - Cowdenbeath
Conor McAvoy - Fulham
Jamie Hamilton - Hamilton Academical
James Maxwell - Rangers
Luke Robinson - Wigan Athletic
Liam McCarron - Leeds United
Dean Campbell - Aberdeen
Ciaran Dickson - Rangers
Jack Stretton - Derby County
Ethan Ross - Dunfermline Athletic
Jack Burroughs - Coventry City
Josh McPake - Rangers
Kai Kennedy - Rangers
Dapo Mebude - Rangers
Kyle Joseph - Wigan Athletic
Marc Leanord - Brighton and Hove Albion
Scotland Under 21 coach Scot Gemmill has announced his squad for the upcoming UEFA U21 European qualifiers.
The under 21's will continue their campaign to reach the finals in Hungary and Slovenia, as they take on Croatia at Tynecastle on the 27th, and then face a trip to face Greece on the 31st.
Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour, who has hit headlines for his impressive, man of the match performances against Liverpool and Everton as of late, makes the squad, potentially putting an end to the prospects of a first team call-up for the senior squad's Nations League game against Israel.
There are also a few new faces to the team, with Stephen Welsh (Celtic), Lewis Mayo (Rangers - on loan at Partick Thistle), Andrew Irving, Lewis Moore (both Hearts), Jamie Gullan (Hibernian) and Louis Appere (Dundee United) earning their first call-ups to the squad.
Full Squad
Robby McCrorie - Livingston
Ross Doohan - Ayr United
Kieran Wright - Alloa Athletic
Daniel Harvie - Ayr United
Ross McCrorie - Portsmouth
Lewis Mayo - Partick Thistle
George Johnston - Feyenoord
Patrick Reading - Stevenage
Stephen Welsh - Celtic
Barry Maguire - Motherwell
Lewis Ferguson - Aberdeen
Andy Irving - Heart of Midlothian
Billy Gilmour - Chelsea
Lewis Smith - Hamilton Academical
Stephen Kelly - Ayr United
Lewis Moore - Heart of Midlothian
Glenn Middleton - Bradford City
Jamie Gullan - Hibernian
Conor McLennan - Aberdeen
Fraser Hornby - Kortrijk
Louis Appere - Dundee United
(Pictured above: Scottish Schools Girls U18 Squad 2014-15)
The squad for the Scottish Schools International Girls Squad has been officially announced.
The announcement comes after a series of both regional and national trials in which the squad was brought down to the final chosen 18.
The full squad is as follows:
Eilidh Austin - Coltness High School
Tiree Burchill - St. Margaret's Academy
Keira Chuter - Wallace High School
Leigha Dobbins - Braidhurst High School
Ava Easdon - St. Andrew's Academy
Lily Graham - Portobello High School
Georgia Gray - Woodfarm High School
Kirsty MacLean - Barrhead High School
Annalisa McCann - Elgin Academy
Jodi McLeary - Cathkin High School
Sophia Martin - Cathkin High School
Caitlin Moran - St Andrew's High School - Coatbridge
Olivia Potter - St Columba's High School
Niamh Noble - Inverkeithing High School
Ami Robertson - St. Andrew's High School - Coatbridge
Millie Urquhart - Ellon Academy
Emma Watson - Broughton High School
Madilyn Wilson - St. Ninian's High School Kirkintilloch
Congratulations to all selected and best of luck for 2020!
The Squad for the U18 Boys Scottish Schools international team has been announced.
The announcement comes after the end of a series of area trials including a final trial last Tuesday as the squad was cut down to a final 18. The squad will represent the Scottish Schools FA in the upcoming Centenary Shield competition and the Invitation International.
The full squad is as follows:
Ryan Arnott - Grove Academy
Dean Beveridge - Edinburgh College
Ben Cameron - Bearsden Academy
Miller Gamble - Culloden High School
James Graham - Dingwall Academy
Ciaran Harkin - St. Peter the Apostle High School
Jacques Heraghty - Holyrood Secondary School
Josh McConville - Harris Academy
Scott Neil - Grange Academy
Liam Newton - Kirkcaldy High School
Lewis Nicolson - Culloden High School
Gospel Ocholi - John Paul Academy
Billy Owens - John Paul Academy
Jack Reid - Woodmill High School
Jack Sharples - Braes High School
Blair Sneddon - Graeme High School
Kyle Sneddon - Madras College
Lucas Williamson - Wallace High School
Congratulations to all the boys selected and good luck in 2020!
Friday, 18 October 2019 12:52

The Future of the Scotland National Team

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On 15th October, Scotland’s U19 squad managed to shock Europe with a 1-0 victory over Germany, booking their place in the Elite round of European qualifiers. After topping their group, Scotland will look to play their way to the U19 European Championships 2020, which is being hosted by Northern Ireland next June. 

Scotland kicked off their group with a fair yet disappointing 2-2 draw with Belarus. Scotland began the game on the front foot, going 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes, courtesy of Nathan Patterson and Adedapo Mebude. However, this comfortable lead was short lived as Belarus managed to pull one back in the 34th minute with Dmitri Prischepa putting his name on the score sheet.

Belarus continued their momentum and in the 54th minute, they equalised through Raman Davyskiba. Following the equaliser, the game slowed down until some late drama with Victor Sotnikov being sent off 10 minutes before the whistle. 

Scotland lit up their qualification campaign with a 2-0 win over Andorra. The first half was slow and it took Scotland a while to get into their stride. However, after a lot of perseverance Scotland opened the scoring through Jack Burroughs, eight minutes after the restart. Scotland used their momentum to knick another goal in the 65th minute with Jamie Hamilton adding to Scotland’s lead. In the late stages of the game, Andorra had a man sent off. This sealed the win for Scotland’s young squad. 

Next up for Scotland was group favourites, Germany. Going into the game, Germany were expected to win the game, scoring many goals in the process. In the first two games, Germany had scored 12 goals and conceded two whilst Scotland had also conceded two goals but had only managed to score four. The first half was rugged and was poised for an intense game as there was nothing between the two sides.

Scotland scored at the perfect moment through Josh McPake, one minute before the interval. The second half was similar to the first and ran right to the wire. However, Scotland remained calm and managed to see the game through 1-0.

This U19's squad is full of talent and will be eager to play in Northern Ireland next summer. Should Scotland qualify for next year’s tournament, be sure to look out for any of these young player rising through the ranks and playing for the senior Scotland squad. Who knows, maybe they will be playing in the Scotland national team’s first major tournament since 1998.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 14:52

Scotland U16 Squad Announced for Victory Shield

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Scotland U16 Head Cach Stuart McLaren has named his squad for the upcoming Victory Shield Tournament in Wales.
The squad features six pupils from the SFA's Performance Schools. The young Scots begin their campaign in Wrexham against the Republic of Ireland on the 28th October. After that it's a match against Northern Ireland on the 30th, before they round off their campaing against hosts Wales on the 1st November.
The full squad is as follows:
Josh Adam - Celtic
Matthew Anderson - Celtic
Ben Andreucci - Leeds United
Adedire Awokoya-Mebude - Rangers
Adam Brooks - Celtic
Ben Doak - Celtic
Ryan Duncan - Aberdeen
Harley Ewan - Rangers
Kelsey Ewan - Rangers
Callum Flatman - Heart of Midlothian
Murray Johnson - Hibernian
Tsoanelo Letsosa - Celtic
Jack McConnell - Rangers
Ben McPherson - Celtic
Kristi Montgomery - Blackburn Rovers
Jeremiah Mullen - Liverpool
Kieran Offord - St Mirren
Dylan Reid - St Mirren
Kyle Semple - Motherwell
Finn Yeats - Aberdeen
Scotland Women's under 17 coach Pauline MacDonald has selected her squad for this month's UEFA European Championship qualifiers in Edinburgh.
MacDonald's squad will take on Northern Ireland on Monday 14th at Oriam before they face Montenegro on the 17th at the same venue. The Scots will round of their qualifiers with a match against Itly at Ainslie Park on the 20th.
The full squad is as follows:
Eilidh Adams - Hibernian
Tegan Bowie - Celtic
Jess Broadrick - Aberdeen
Monica Forsyth - Celtic
Neve Guthrie - Dundee United
Addie Handley - Boroughmuir Thistle
Bayley Hutchison - Aberdeen
Rachael Johnstone - Celtic
Freya MacDonald - Rangers
Paige McAllister - Celtic
Rebecca McAllister - Celtic
Robyn McCafferty - Spartans
Rosie McQuillan - Rangers
Kate Nicolson - Celtic
Kirsty O'Brien - Celtic
Jenna Penman - Dundee United
Ellie-Jay Reid - Dundee United
Lucy Sinclair - Glasgow City
Eva Thomson - Aberdeen
Alicia Yates - Hibernian
Scotland U21 Head Coach Scot Gemmill has announced his squad for the upcoming UEFA European Championship Qualifiers in October.
The Scots will be looking to continue their perfect start to the group after a home win agaisnt San Marino and an impressive away victory at Croatia.
First up for Gemmill's side is Lithuania at Tynecastle on the 10th October, then it's a trip to the Czech Republic four days later.
The full squad is as follows:
Robby McCrorie - Queen of the South
Ross Doohan - Ayr United
Kieran Wright - Rangers
Daniel Harvie - Ayr United
Tom McIntyre - Reading
Ross McCrorie - Portsmouth
Ryan Porteous - Hibernian
George Johnston - Feyenoord
Patrick Reading - Middlesborough
Barry Maguire - Motherwell
Lewis Ferguson - Aberdeen
Allan Campbell - Motherwell
Kyle Magennis - St. Mirren
Billy Gilmour - Chelsea
Lewis Smith - Hamilton Accies
Jordan Holsgrove - CD Atletico Baleares
Stephen Kelly - Ayr United
Glenn Middleton - Hibernian
Michael Johnston - Celtic
Connor McLennan - Aberdeen
Fraser Hornby - KV Kortrijk
James Scott - Motherwell  
Scotland Women's U19 Head Coach Pauline Hammil has announced her squad for the upcoming UEFA Women's U19 Championship Qualifying rounds.
The squad will travel out to Poland to play the three matches that will decide their fate in the competition. First up is Bulgaria on the 2nd of October, then they face a tough game against Croatia three days later before ending with a potential decider against hosts Poland.
The full squad is as follows:
Sophie Allison - Glasgow City
Emily Mutch - Heart of Midlothian
Jenna Clark - Glasgow City
Caley Gibb - Spartans
Carly Girasoli - Glasgow City
Tara McGonigle - Spartans
Francesca Ogilvie - Aberdeen
Eilidh Shore - Aberdeen
Chloe Warrington - Celtic
Abby Callaghan - Motherwell
Michaela McAlonie - Spartans
Rebecca McGowan - St Johnstone
Kirstie McIntosh - Hamilton Academical
Brogan Moore - Oxford United
Hannah Scott - Glasgow City
Lauren Davidson - Hibernian
Jennifer Smith - Heart of Midlothian
Aisha Maughan - Heart of Midlothian
Kathleen McGovern - Celtic
Elena Santoyo-Brown - Spartans
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