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Much like the senior squad, Scotland’s youth football teams have had an up and down history, but not without some strong bright spots. 
 
Every one of these peaks at the youth level of course comes with hope that these successes will someday carry over into the national team. Whether that ends up happening or not, they still will always be great moments in Scottish football history.
 
Relive some of these peaks below in our list of the best Scotland youth football matches of all-time:
 
1963 U-18 Euros Third-Place Match: Scotland 4-2 Bulgaria
Scotland didn’t enter a team in the European Youth Championships (now the European U-19 Championships) from 1950-1962. When they returned to the stage at the 1963 tournament held in England, their performance was probably better than most expected.
 
In the group stage, Scotland defeated Greece and Switzerland by a combined 7-1, good enough to win the group despite a loss to Germany. A tough loss to England ensued in the semis, but there was still a chance to win bronze in the third-place match against Bulgaria. There, it was Scotland that prevailed, 4-2. 
 
1982 U-18 Euro Championships Final: Scotland 3-1 Czechoslovakia
The only Scottish team to win a major trophy, the U-18 lads (a division that would become U-19 in 2002) at the 1982 Euros won their group, then defeated Poland 2-0 in the semis. Their opponent in the final was Czechoslovakia, who also went undefeated in the group stage.
 
Scotland’s only major trophy came at the 1982 European U-18 Championships
 
(Picture credit: Daily Record) 
 
Played in Helsinki, the line-up for Scotland included many players that went on to have long and successful footballing careers, such as John Philliben, Pat Nevin, Paul McStay, Gary Mackay, and David Rennie, among others. The match finished 3-1 thanks to goals from Philliben, Mackay, and Nevin, and remains a historical win for Scottish football, even over three decades later.
 
1989 U-16 World Championship Semis: Portugal 0-1 Scotland
Scotland qualified automatically for the 1989 U-16 World Championships as hosts, and made the most of that free pass by finishing second in the group, qualifying for the knockout stage. A late 1-0 win over East Germany in the quarterfinals set up a semi-final showdown with Group D champions Portugal.
 
Paul Dickov was the only member of 1989 U-16 World Championships to make it to the full national team
 
(Pictured credit: Scottish Football Philosopher
 
The match went to half-time tied 0-0, but a Brian O’ Neill goal in the 54th gave Scotland all they needed to secure a place in the final against Saudi Arabia. There, they would lose on penalties, but the silver finish was an important one for the program. While Paul Dickov was the only member of the starting XI to go on and cap for the national team, manager Craig Brown would of course go on to become the senior selection’s longest tenured boss ever.
 
1992 U-21 Euros Quarterfinals: Scotland 4-3 Germany
The 1992 U-21 Euros spanned two years and also served as a qualifier for the 1992 Olympics. Despite the long format, Scotland maintained remarkable consistency in the group stage, ploughing their group of Bulgaria, Romania, and Switzerland with 5 wins, no draws, and a single loss.
 
In the two-legged knockout quarterfinals, Scotland drew Germany, who also won their group easily. The first leg finished 1-1, and early in the second leg it looked like Germany was the stronger side when they went up 2-0 early. But a Ray Mckinnon goal just before half inspired Gerry Creaney, Paul Lambert, and Alex Rae to all score goals of their own in a 4-3 victory. Scotland would lose a heartbreaker in the semis to Sweden, but the run was the U-21s’ best performance since 1982 and remains tied for the best today.
 
2013 U-16 Victory Shield: Scotland 1-0 England
Scotland went into the final match of the 2013 Victory Shield in the most exciting of circumstances. They played host to the Auld Enemy and knew victory would give them their first title for 15 years. England, in contrast, had won the competition for 12 years on the bounce. A big crowd gathered at Raith Rovers' Starks Park.
 
The young Scots, managed by Scott Booth, rose to the occasion with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a goal from Calvin Miller. Heroics at the other end from goalkeeper Robbie McCrorie maintained the clean sheet and ended Scotland's wait for success in the competition.
 
2014 U-17 Euros Group Stage: Germany 0-1 Scotland
Perhaps more than any other nation at the moment, Germany has developing youth footballing talent down to a science. So it was no surprise when the U-17 Scots were listed as 9/1 underdogs against Germany at many online sportsbooks (yes, you can wager on U17 matches, and it can be a great way to earn some side-money if you really know your youth football).  
 
Aberdeen’s Scott Wright scored Scotland’s only goal in their upset defeat of Germany at the 2014 U-17 Euros
 
(Pictured credit: Aberdeen FC)
 
Despite early pressure, Scotland held strong and just a minute into the second half were able to claim a goal thanks to head of Aberdeen’s Scott Wright. The Scots would hold onto the lead and win the match, eventually bowing out in the semis to the Dutch. But the tournament and the Germany win especially were positive signs that Scottish youth football is finally making strong progress once again.
 
 
Our reporter Mark Gillespie rounds up the latest failure to qualify for a major competition for our Under-21 side.
 
And so another Scotland side misses out on yet another finals, as the Under-21 campaign stuttered to its end on Tuesday night in Macedonia. For watchers of their senior counterparts, the race to reach next year’s Euro finals in Poland has a depressingly familiar script, as early hopes were quickly quashed long before the curtain finally came down in Skopje on Tuesday night.
 
It was a fourth successive goalless, pointless outcome for Scot Gemmill’s side, as a sharper, hungrier Macedonian XI booked their country’s first appearance at any major finals with an emphatic 2-0 victory. Scotland will again look on from the side lines as eastern European teams of a similar stature battle it out a major finals.
 
The campaign begun last September with an encouraging 2-1 victory in Northern Ireland, as Ryan Christie and Ryan Fraser fired Scotland to a deserved win. A 3-1 win in the corresponding fixture at St Mirren Park in March kept Scotland’s hopes alive; a Jason Cummings double sparking a second half fight back. The wins over the Irish were to prove Scotland’s only victories of the campaign.
 
A 2-1 defeat to a classy French side at Pittodrie last September was to shatter any fragile optimism, as a late Billy King goal gave the result a more flattering look. By the time the Scots fell to a 2-0 defeat in the return game in March qualification hopes were already hanging by a thread.
 
Valuable points were also dropped at home, with Iceland frustrating the Scots in a 0-0 draw at Pittodrie last October. A month later, and Ukraine snatched a late point in a 2-2 draw at a blustery St Mirren Park. This was another game where the Scots did a lot of good things, but succumbed to sloppy defending. With only a win and a draw to show from their five home fixtures, results were beginning to tell.
 
And Macedonia all but sealed Scotland’s fate with a 1-0 victory at Tynecastle in September, before the wheels well and truly came off four days later with a 4-0 loss in Ukraine. Again Scotland gave a masterclass in the fine margin between success and failure. In Kiev the Scots side had good possession and controlled much of the game in the opening half, before conceding three soft second half goals. It is becoming an all too familiar tale.
 
Post mortems were already being conducted during the campaign, with manager Ricky Sbragia reaching his own conclusions, stepping aside after the Ukraine defeat to allow a new coach two matches to try and rebuild. Scot Gemmill took the over the reins and immediately carried out some radical surgery to the squad. With the likes of John McGinn, Calum Patterson and Ollie Burke moving up to senior level, he took the opportunity to introduce ten new faces. It was to prove a torrid introduction as they fell to a 2-0 defeat in windswept Iceland.
 
Time will be given to see how Gemmill’s new boys develop, as a new era gets underway. Last night’s defeat was another harsh lesson of the challenges the national team faces against previously unfancied countries, now better resourced with upcoming talent.
 
A new radical change in squad personnel goes hand in hand with a policy of continuity at Hampden. Gemmill has nurtured all the new players from Under-17 level through to 19s already, whilst former coach Sbragia has moved back to a coach mentoring role. The deeper concern will be how relatively few of the Under-21 crop make it all the way up to senior level, as questions continue pile up about the health of the game at national level.
Monday, 10 October 2016 22:49

Scotland v Croatia WU17 - Match Analysis

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Monday night saw Scotland girls run out comfortable winners at the Oriam Centre with a 4-0 domination, helped massively by a Morgan Cross hat-trick.

 

The stats didn’t lie either, as Scotland surpassed Croatia considerably in terms of shots on and off target (13 and 9 respectively), while their opponents could only muster up less than half that many opportunities, and in terms of corners, where Pauline Hamill’s side outnumbered the Croats by 4 corners.

Early on in the game Scotland began to set the tone, which, in truth, they very rarely stopped dictating throughout the match, as Croatia struggled massively to get a foothold within the contest.

The real standout feature of Scotland’s play was their high-pressing game, which penned their opponents into their own half and gave them little space to play, which they attempted quite a bit. As a result, Croatia ended up surrendering possession often throughout the first half, with Kaela McDonald being the most important player within this tactic, winning back the ball and starting up attacks more often than not.

Interestingly, you wouldn’t have expected Vera Onica’s side to be the one being bullied when in possession, due to the physical prowess of his players, but that was exactly what happened in the first-half.

In what had been a scrappy game, it took an outrageous moment of quality from Kim McAlpine to open the scoring for Scotland, when her 45-yard attempt went all the way over the goalkeeper and into the net for a deserved lead. It was the first proper chance for either side, despite not really being much of a chance itself!

The visitors weren’t exactly doing themselves many favours, sitting very deep in their own half throughout the first half, only inviting pressure every time that the hosts verged forward.

Despite the clear problems with Scotland’s pressing, Croatia remained adamant to pass it out from the back, and that directly contributed to the hosts second goal. Due to more overplaying between the defence and goalkeeper, Cross nipped in to tuck home from close range and open her account for the night. Once again, build-up play proving to be the Achilles heel for the visitors.

A more direct approach may have perhaps favoured Croatia a bit more, considering the obvious height and physicality within their ranks.

The visitors did improve however and begin to rack of their shot target in the closing ten minutes, racking up four altogether between then and half time, although most of them close from long range and failed to work Kiera Gibson in goals, as their manager frequently suggested that they adopt a “shoot on sight” policy.

When Croatia did attack, most of their breaks came from the central area, where they looked to get away through Fatjesa Gegollaj, who had looked the most likely to create something for her side.

Whereas Scotland were targeting the wide areas frequently, with the switch of play being one of their more favoured moves of the night.

The pattern continued much the same in the second-half, as Scotland switched to a highly-successful 3-4-3 formation, occasionally shifting to a diamond formation, which frequently found them filled with numbers when attacking, and often giving the Croatians plenty to worry about.

Once again, Croatia stuck by their approach and chose to build-up play starting with the goalkeeper and defence, despite the immense pressure they faced.

Croatia had a period where they looked as if they could get themselves back in the game, as Scotland could have been punished for a sloppy ten-minute spell, which saw the majority of the visitors’ efforts on goal. Despite their rallying attempt to get a goal back, the Scots managed to find their mojo again with 15 minutes left.

The sloppy passing turned into slick passing, as incisive moves carved open the Croatia defence for two late goals from Cross, to seal her well-deserved hat-trick after an accomplished performance upfront, to put the icing on the cake for Scotland.

All in all, a well-deserved, dominant win for Scotland, who outran and outclassed Croatia throughout the majority of the match. Although it was a tireless performance, there was no shortage of tactical nous and eye-catching football on display from Pauline Hamill’s side. 


Match Stats

Scotland
Goals: 4
Shots on target: 13
Shots off target: 9
Corners: 4
Fouls committed: 4
 
Croatia
Goals: 0
Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 4
Corners: 0
Fouls committed: 4
Thursday, 01 September 2016 00:10

YFS previews the IFA U17 World Cup

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The countdown is on until the inaugural International Futsal Alliance World Cup. The event kicks off on Tuesday (6th September) at Dundee International Sports Complex (DISC). YFS will be there for every kick off the ball, as the official media partners of the tournament.
 
The visitors
USA, Pakistan and Australia will be the visitors to Dundee, for the first tournament of its kind in Scotland. 
 
The format
- Matches every evening from Tuesday 6th - Saturday 10th August. The first match kicks off at 6pm and the second game at 7:45pm.
- Three days of group action, semi final Friday and cup final Saturday.
 
Catch the action
Tickets are now available to purchase at the venue. If you are unable to make it to Dundee, then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to purchase tickets. YFS will be bringing you full coverage of each match - including live streams. Click here to subscribe to the official tournament YouTube channel.

Views from the Scotland camp
 
 
Views from the International Futsal Alliance
 
Thursday, 05 May 2016 09:36

Scotland's journey to Futsal World Cup begins

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Following trials in Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and Perth, the journey to the first ever IFA Futsal U17 World Cup is underway for young players across Scotland.

YFS TV spoke to Scottish Youth Futsal Federation president Stephen Chatila at the Edinburgh event, which can be viewed below.



The final trial for those who have been selected from phase one will take place in Dundee on Sunday 15th May. If you were unaware of the initial trials and believe you have exceptional case for attending the final trial, contact Stephen Chatila on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Thursday, 21 April 2016 08:52

Futsal World Cup comes to Scotland

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Brazil, Spain, Portugal and Holland are amongst the countries that will travel to Dundee this September, as Scotland gets ready to host its first ever IFA Futsal U17 World Cup.

The event will take place from September 6-10 at Dundee's DISC arena, with trials set to take place across Scotland over the coming weeks.

Steve Chatila of the Scottish Youth Futsal Federation took time out of the current Scotland v Australia U15 challenge match tour (pictured, below), to make the announcement. He told the Evening Telegraph: “Bringing the World Cup is another leap forward to bring the focus onto youth futsal in Scotland.

“We’re looking for as many supporters as possible, anybody interested in playing or learning about futsal or people who just want to see a nice, exciting game.

“There’s no dull moments in games, it’s end to end, there’s action every second. It’s well worth spending an hour or two to watch a game, you’ll enjoy it.”
 

“Futsal itself in Scotland is relatively new but has been running since 1930 across the world so it’s not new and is fully professional in Brazil, Spain, Italy and Russia.

“My hope is maybe four or five years down the line we are looking at semi- professional teams in Scotland.

“So with the U17s, in four or five years they will be the ideal age to be starting to look at a professional or semi-professional career in futsal."
 
The first set of trials will take place shortly. They are for players born 1999 or later and the details are as follows:

April 30th, Bells Sport Centre, Perth
April 30th, Manhattan Works, Dundee
May 1st, Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh
May 1st, Ally McCoist Complex, East Kilbride
 
For more information or to register email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07849321938.
The first weekend in April will see the Scottish Schools FA U15 Girls travel down to Newport in Wales to participate in the Bob Docherty Cup against the other home nations, with the hope of retaining the coveted Bob Docherty trophy. 
 
The tournament, which has taken place annually since it first began in 2007, is hosted in a different venue each year by one of the home nations. Last year saw Scotland host the tournament at Glasgow’s Toryglen Football complex, with the team winning the trophy on home soil. The team will hope to retain the trophy as they travel to the National Football Development Centre, Dragon Park, in Wales.
 
Their chance of retaining the trophy has looked promising so far, with a very successful run of pre-tournament matches against club and regional teams, winning six games in six against tough opponents, including players who had played in Scotland squads previously. Following wins against Glasgow City and Rangers, Scotland travelled to Jersey for a training camp, at the end of which they won back-to-back fixtures against Jersey, finishing the campaign off with wins against Central Academy and Hibernian.
 
Attention now turns to the home nation tournament, which will see Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and two Welsh sides, one 2001’s and one 2002’s, against each other across four days for their chance to win the Bob Docherty Cup.
 
Scotland will be able to rest on the opening day of the tournament, with no fixtures scheduled. They will then face Wales 2002’s on Saturday the second of April at 5.00pm, and play against England on Sunday the third of April with a 2.00pm kick-off. 
 
The fixtures for the final day will be decided by the results of the first three days. The games are played thirty minutes each way, with the winning team awarded three points. In the event of a draw, the game will go straight to penalties, with the winning side awarded two points and the losing team awarded one point.  The final day will see the top two teams play off, as well as the third and fourth teams, and fifth and sixth teams meeting.
 
Having had such a successful pre-tournament, the Scotland squad can go to Wales with confidence that they are capable of winning the Bob Docherty Trophy once more. Whatever happens, the team are guaranteed a wonderful experience. Everyone at YFS wishes them the best of luck and hopes that they enjoy every second. For anyone who can't make the trip south, all of the action will be available on YFS TV.
 
Youth Football Scotland reporters Claire Guilline, David Reid spoke about the main talking points pre-match, half time and at full time at the Lewis United v Banks O’Dee Albion under 16s Scottish cup semi-final.
 
It is 16 Scottish Cup finals in 16 years for Banks O’Dee Albion and coach Bruce McGregor's 5th Scottish Cup final with Albion as a coach. A great achievement and Bruce is a great lad and let’s face it, a tactical genius!
 
Pre-match
 
Claire and David received the team lines from Alan Cook at Lewis United and Patrick Ritchie from Banks O’Dee Albion and we invited former Lewis United player Kieran Simpson to gather his thoughts on the game who is now playing for Peterhead BC.
 
So David, Claire and Kieran spoke about the game in one of the stands at North Lodge Park, Formartine and David asked Kieran, “What his first impressions were on the game as he has seen both sides.” Kieran replied saying “Both the sides are really evenly matched, I think the forward turns will be really important and there will be a lot of saves made by the goalkeepers.”
 
David then said, “Your father, Mark Simpson used to play here, this must be a good ground for you is it?” Kieran came back saying “Yeah I used to watch him all the time and I hope it’s a great game to watch today and whoever comes out on top will win the game.”
 
David then asked Claire on the facilities available at Formartine United when she said “The facilities here at Formartine United have improved over the last year, and it’s a fantastic ground which is used in the Highland League and both teams will be keen to take advantage of the atmosphere here and try and push for victory in the semi-finals today.”
 
Claire then announced the team line-ups for Lewis United which were as follows: Euan Morrison, Logan Johnstone, James Robson, Jay Leiper, Kyle Smith, Gregor Thom, Cameron Cook, Liam Duncan, Alex Kelly and David Edwards and Mitchell Foy with bench being: Brian Mair, Adam Smith, Aaron Leslie, Calum Mitchell and Adam Joji.
 
David asked Kieran his thoughts on the line-up when he said “There’s a couple of surprises in there however I think it’s still strong to go out and win the game and I think they have the ability in midfield and going forward and they are strong in defence. “
 
For Banks O’Dee Albion we have: Vitali Sahhalevits, Jason Ritchie, Cameron Imrie, Calum Beattie, Ben Ross, Alasdair Shrive, Hamish McLeod, Mark Reid, Calum McKenzie, Lewis Duffy and Connor Wood with bench as follows: Andrew Wood, Joseph Bisset, Shaun Cameron, Greg Pirie and Cameron Ross.
 
Kieran shared his thoughts on the line-up again when he said “Yet again, a really strong team and they have shown that in the last couple of years especially in the league and they are a really hard team to beat and it will come down to whoever performs best.”
 
Half Time
 
It was 2-1 Albion with Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid giving Albion a two goal advantage before Mitchell Foy reduced the leeway for Lewis. David and Claire shared their thoughts starting with Claire when she said “It has been a close game and Banks O’Dee Albion have been quite dominant however Lewis getting their goal back will give them a fighting chance in the 2nd half and also give them a little bit of confidence. The goal was a turning point for Lewis and something for them to build on and they will be looking to put more pressure on Albion now”
 
Claire then asked David what his thoughts were on the performances of both sides when he said “Albion have just shaded the overall play in the 1st half, the Albion coaching staff would have stated pre-match to start the game well and they did with goals from Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid before Mitchell Foy pulled one back, if Albion keep it going then they will be in Airdrie come May.”
 
Claire then asked David what both managers will be saying just now when David replied back saying “Well for Lewis they have just got a goal back so Brian and Keith will be trying to get the boys up for it again and to build on that goal, for Albion it will be a theme of keep going.”
 
Who will be key? David says “You could single out any player however you look at Lewis and they signed players from Albion in the summer and I think Logan Johnston, Kyle Smith and Gregor Thom will be vital and they will be eager to push the boys on a little, as for Banks O’Dee Albion we already know what Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid are all about however it could be down to the goalkeepers Euan and Vitali.”
 
Full Time
 
It has finished Lewis United 2-3 Banks O’Dee Albion at North Lodge Park, Pitmedden with Albion probably just coming out on top over the 80 minutes.
 
David asks Claire what her view on the game was when she said “In the 2nd half, Lewis pressed on more and they managed to get that equaliser that they desperately needed and really brought themselves back into the game.
 
“Banks O’Dee Albion was the stronger team and got their goal to take the lead again and really didn’t give Lewis any more chances from there on, credit to Banks O’Dee Albion who managed to hold on.”
 
David then asked Claire if she felt Lewis United were denied a stonewall penalty at 2-2 when she said “I didn’t have the best view so I am going to stay neutral and say it could have gone either way.”
 
Claire then asked David for his view on the game when he said “Lewis must have gotten a bit of a talking to at half time because they came out in the 2nd half a lot stronger than they did in the first half and they were denied a stonewall penalty which if it was given and they scored it they could have went onto win the game.
 
“Fair play to Banks O’Dee Albion though who took advantage of the referees’ decision and take the lead once again thanks to Calum McKenzie.
 
“Albion used their experience to full advantage and I think it’s a little bit too early for Lewis United however don’t be surprised to see Lewis bounce back next season.”
 
What do you think Banks O’Dee will do to prepare for the final? David replied saying “Well the final isn’t until May however Albion now have a bit of time to wait for the winner and also to get themselves ready for the showcase event however Albion will be eager to get more success before then.”
 
“I spoke to Patrick on Monday and he said that you can’t buy experience and Albion put that to full dividends today and Bruce will put his experience across to the players before the game, Fauldhouse and Rossvale lie in wait.
 
“Albion know all about Rossvale and I have heard a lot of good things about Fauldhouse so that will be an interesting semi-final however it’ll be whoever wants it most on the day.  
 
Star players from either team? For Lewis either Mitchell Foy or Liam Duncan and for Albion, I was expecting a lot more from the Lewis United midfield and Alasdair Shrive and Ben Ross were outstanding for Albion.
 
David then spoke to Claire there is a guaranteed Aberdeen representative in the final when she replied saying “The under 13s got beat from Leith Athletic however there is the possibility of two teams going through from the North region to Airdrie in May and I’m pretty sure Albion 16s will do the ADJFA proud.”
 
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 17:55

Watch: Scotland v Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys

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Video highlights from the Centenary Shield opener at Lesser Hampden.
 
The squad has been announced for Scotland's schoolboy international against Northern Ireland. The match takes place this evening (Friday 26th February) at 7pm, with the venue being Lesser Hampden. The eighteen players are as follows:
 
Kyle BANNER (Graeme HS)
Jack COOK (Dunbar Grammar)
John CUNNINGHAM (Hamilton Grammar) 
Dominic KANE (St. Kentigerns HS)
Derryn KESSON (Craigie HS)
Adam KIRKWOOD (Stranraer Academy)
Seyon KOSHOEDO (Harlaw Academy)
Callum LAING (St. Josephs College)
Josh MACDONALD (Calderglen HS)
Lachie MACLEOD (Aberdeen Grammar)
Bradley MANSON (Old Machar Academy)
Adam MARTIN (Bearsden Academy)
Ryan McRITCHIE (Millburn Academy)
Fraser MORTON (Wallacehall Academy)
Morgan REID (Bannockburn HS)
Mark SMITH (Grove Academy)
Liam STRACHAN (North East College)
Andrew WILSON (St. Kentigerns HS)
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