National Teams (107)
Monday, 21 March 2016 12:03 Written by David Reid
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!
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.”
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.”
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.”
Friday, 26 February 2016 17:07 Written by YFS Editor 1
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)
Five players from the North region have been called up to the Scotland Schools U18's squad for games against Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic Of Ireland.
Liam Strachan and Bradley Manson are reunited back in the squad after both being present in the camp last year. Lachie MacLeod and Seyon Koshoedo (pictured below) who both hail from Aberdeen are in the squads for the first time and are joined by Ryan McRitchie from Inverness.
Liam Strachan attends college where as the rest are still at school. Bradley Manson is at Oldmachar Academy, Lachie McLeod goes to Aberdeen Grammar, Seyon Koshoedo goes to Harlaw Academy, and Ryan McRitchie goes to Millburn Academy up in Inverness.
One of the games that Scotland are participating in is local to the majority of the guys with Highland League side Inverurie Loco Works FC hosting the Scotland v Wales game on the 24th March with a 19:30pm kick off.
The last time Wales came to the North East, they visited Princess Royal Park which is the home of Highland League side Deveronvale FC and Scotland came away 3-0 winners.
One of the players who played for Scotland that night was former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher in a year in which Scotland lifted the Victory Shield.
Liam Strachan and Bradley Manson were both last season pushing hard to get a professional contract at Aberdeen. However, towards the tail end of the last season were released by the club. Liam now plays for Highland League outfit Turriff United and Bradley also plays in the Highland League, for Turriffs rivals Deveronvale.
Lachie McLeod who is in the squad for the first time as a striker gave his thoughts about being selected. He said, "It's quite surreal. I was very happy to be selected for the Scotland squad this year. It felt good that my hard work hasn't gone unnoticed and I haven't had a better feeling in football.
"In the national trophy games, scouts came and had a look at me and I got recommended to the guys at Scotland schools. I have managed five goals in three games for Aberdeen during the national trophy so far.
"What I aim to get out of this is to get spotted by a professional team. I was at Montrose for a while last season, however I would like to step up again. We are playing Sporting Futures USA on the 8th March so that is a good chance to impress scouts and coaches with the chance to go to America."
Lachie is also excited about playing one of the games in his region. He said, "Most of our games and training sessions have been down in the central belt. I played with Liam Strachan at Albion and I am good mates with him. I am starting to bond with Bradley and Seyon now and we all travelling up together and also in the same hotel rooms."
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 12:34 Written by Robert Wilson
The Scotland Women's training camp squads have been announced for the U16, U17, and U19's age groups.
U16 (28th-30th January @ Toryglen)
Jade Baillie - Celtic FC
Shannon Burgon - Rangers LFC
Rebecca Cameron - Dundee United LFC
Kiera Gibson - Celtic FC
Georgia Adderley - Spartans LFC
Leah Eddie - Celtic FC
Michaela McAlonie - Hearts LFC
Kimberley McAlpine - Central Girls Academy
Shaney McCabe - Central Girls Academy
Bethany McPherson - Aberdeen LFC
Shannon Nagle - Celtic FC
Courtney Otto - Rangers LFC
Julia Dunn - Celtic FC
Kelsey Gibson - Chelsea LFC
Ellie Kane - Central Girls Academy
Kirsten Laing - Celtic FC
Kirstie McIntosh - Central Girls Academy
Sara McWhirter - Celtic FC
Brogan Molloy - Celtic FC
Amy Muir - Rangers LFC
Chloe Muir - Glasgow City FC
Elena Santoyo-Brown - Boroughmuir LFC
Monica Anderson - Glasgow City FC
Abby Callaghan - Celtic FC
Morgan Cross - Central Girls Academy
Fern Newbigging - Celtic FC
Megan Robb - Dundee United FC
Alise Stewart - Motherwell LFC
U17 (19th-21st January @ Toryglen)
U19 (22nd-24th January @ Toryglen)
The SSFA U18 squad for the 2015/16 season has been announced:
Kyle BANNER (Graeme HS, Falkirk)
Jack COOK (Dunbar Grammar)
John CUNNINGHAM (Hamilton Grammar)
Dominic KANE (St.Kentigern's Academy, Blackburn)
Derryn KESSON (Craigie HS, Dundee)
Adam KIRKWOOD (Stranraer Academy)
Seyon KOSHOEDO (Harlaw Academy, Aberdeen)
Callum LAING (St.Joseph's College, Dumfries)
Josh MacDONALD (Calderglen HS, East Kilbride)
Lachie MacLEOD (Aberdeen Grammar)
Bradley MANSON (Oldmachar Academy, Bridge of Don)
Adam MARTIN (Bearsden Academy)
Ryan McRITCHIE (Millburn Academy, Inverness)
Fraser MORTON (Wallace Hall Academy, Thornhill)
Morgan REID (Bannockburn HS)
Mark SMITH (Grove Academy, Dundee)
Liam STRACHAN (North East Scotland College, Aberdeen)
Andrew WILSON (St.Kentigern's Academy, Blackburn)
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 14:13 Written by Scottish Student Sport
The home leg of the annual international friendly football match between Scottish Colleges and Welsh Colleges took place at Broadwood Stadium on a wet and windy Thursday afternoon. Both teams travelled to the match with strong squads, looking to gain bragging rights in what is always a competitive fixture.
The match started at a frantic pace with Wales’ number 10 hitting the post within the first few minutes after an excellent Welsh break. Scotland quickly returned the favour with a break of their own, only for Josh McGonigal to be denied by the onrushing keeper once through on goal. It was clear both sides were nervous in defence during the early stages of the match, however the Scottish defence quickly settled and both teams became more solid all over the park.
The game continued at a good pace with Wales spurning various chances, which they were made to regret as Scotland got their noses in front after 26 minutes. Tight interplay down the right was a common theme for Scotland in the opening phases and an excellent one-two between right back Scott Norman and striker Josh McGonigal led to a bouncing ball within the box which Scott Norman didn’t hesitate to volley into the back of the net.
The match remained an even affair with both teams creating good chances. Ben Wagner, Ryan Porteus and Josh McGonigal all worked tirelessly in attack and were unlucky not to add to the score line. Nonetheless it was Scotland keeper Byron Gibb that ensured Scotland went in at half time ahead, pulling off two point blank saves that both seemed destined to draw Wales level.
Half-time: Scottish Colleges 1-0 Welsh Colleges
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with a frantic pace and visible nerves at the back, however this time it was Wales who capitalised and got themselves back into the game within a few minutes of the restart. Wales worked the ball wide and after some good play, the ball fell to the feet of Wales number 10 who side footed the ball across Robbie Kelly and into the back of the net from a difficult angle.
Wales’ enthusiastic celebration showed exactly how fired up they had become and their increased intensity soon led to them taking the lead. Perhaps in an effort to regain control of the match, Scotland committed men forward and after some loose Scottish play Wales number 7 was gifted too much time and space and his low cross was poked home by the anticipating Welsh forward in the 55th minute.
The momentum was now fully with Wales and a driven shot from outside the box in the 56th minute picked up pace on the greasy surface and fell into the path of an onrushing Wales forward after a save from Kelly. The striker made no mistake and buried the ball into the roof of the net first time queuing jubilant scenes among all Welsh staff and players.
Scotland quickly moved from 4-1-4-1 to 4-4-2 in order to chase the game with Captain Maxime Neossi dropping back into defence from his important holding role. The fluency they showed in the first half seemed to have been lost as the Welsh continued to grow in strength. Special praise must go to Wales’ number 7 who was a constant threat on the wing and was at the heart of various excellent Welsh attacks.
A second half chance did come Scotland’s way as an exchange of passes between Euan Russell and Greg Fernie led to a snap shot rattling the post. This was to be the last chance of the match as the referee drew the game to a close underneath the floodlights.
Half-time: Scottish Colleges 1-3 Welsh Colleges
An excellent afternoon and experience for everyone involved and a strong advert for college football in both Scotland and Wales. Huge thanks to the Welsh for travelling up the road and we all look forward to the away fixture in the New Year.
Thursday, 19 November 2015 11:10 Written by Robert Wilson
Below are the players selected for the Women's U15 training camp, which will run from the 27th-29th of November at Toryglen. Well done to all selected:
Friday, 13 November 2015 11:37 Written by Robert Wilson
UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
SCOTLAND v Ukraine
Friday, 13 November 2015, kick-off 5.45pm
St Mirren Park, Paisley
Scotland U21 boss Ricky Sbragia says he is relishing the challenge of tonight’s European Championship qualifier against Ukraine at St Mirren Park. The manager has been joined by national coach Gordon Strachan and Performance Director Brian McClair this week, and insists it’s been beneficial for everyone.
“It’s been fantastic. From day one, he’s (Strachan) came in and helped everyone with his knowledge of international football and the sessions we’re talking about. He’s just been watching training, spent some time with the players and got to know them.”
Despite Ukraine having failed to pick up any point thus far, Sbragia commented:
“They’ve lost their three game against France, Macedonia and Iceland, but they’re a good team. They play a long ball game, they’re very physical and tall but very decent and should’ve probably beat Macedonia and Iceland. It’ll be a tough game, we know that, so we know what to expect. We’ve done some video analysis over the past few days and have a game plan."
For Scotland, who currently sit fourth in Group 3 with four points, Sbragia says this isn’t a fair reflection of his sides progress in recent months.
“I actually think we should’ve beaten Iceland, and their goalkeeper made a fantastic save late on in the game. A lot of it has to do with luck and luck has to do with us sometimes not being clinical enough. As ever, we just take each game as it comes and see how it goes and hopefully get something from it.”
Sbragia also admits there has been an extra edge to training, as the national boss casts his eye over the future generation.
“There’s certainly a bit more tackling going around! There’s been a real competitive edge and they’re obviously trying to show Gordon that, at some point in their careers, they deserve to make the step up to the A squad.”
Sbragia, who previously assisted with the U19 squad, was full of praise for Hull City defender Andy Robertson who has joined up with the squad having received three full international caps already.
“The great thing about Andy is that he’s had no problems coming down. In the past, when you ask more experienced players to come down they don’t want to, but with Andy it’s been different class. He’s really mixed well with the group and he’s been a gem to work with.”
Sbragia was emotional as he paid tribute to former Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop, who passed away at just 32. The former Black Cats boss fought back tears and said:
”Marton was everything, he was great for me as a manager and he kept us in the Premiership. Craig Gordon was injured at the time, so Marton was a big focal point in the team. He made a save in the 94th minute from Gary Cahill, and kept us in the division. I was really sad to hear that he passed away, he was a lovely man and I had a lot of time for him.”
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 16:33 Written by Robert Wilson
The upcoming Scotland Women's Under-17 Training Camp squad has been announced by Pauline Hamill.
The squad will train together between the 19th and 22nd November and will discover who their UEFA European Championship Elite Round opponents will be on Friday morning.
Shannon Burgon (Rangers LFC)
Rebecca Cameron (Jeanfield Swifts LFC)
Erin Clachers (Glasgow City FC)
Eartha Cumings (Spartans FC)
Hannah Dryden (Forfar Farmington FC)
Jordyn Elliot (Rangers LFC)
Lindsey Blues (Celtic FC)
Nicole Cameron (Celtic FC)
Murron Cunningham (Glasgow City FC)
Lauren Doran-Barr (Rangers LFC)
Kirsty Fraser (Glasgow City FC)
Kimberley McAlpine (Central Girls Academy)
Bethany McPherson (Westdyke FC)
Shannon Nagle (Celtic FC)
Courtney Otto (Rangers LFC)
Olivia Crawford (Glasgow City FC)
Ellis Dalgliesh (Celtic FC)
Claire Farquhar (Rangers LFC)
Ellie Kane (Central Girls Academy)
Hannah Fulton (Celtic FC)
Freya Glen (Millwall Centre of Excellence)
Samantha Kerr (Central Girls Academy)
Shannon McGregor (Aberdeen LFC)
Amy Muir (Rangers LFC)
Jamie-Leigh Napier (Celtic FC)
Ellis Notley (Hibernian LFC)
Ellie Simpson (Spartans LFC)
Monica Anderson (Glasgow City FC)
Derrian Gollan (Forfar Farmington FC)
Lauren Gordon (Aberdeen LFC)
Brogan Hay (Glasgow City FC)
Kaela McDonald (Celtic FC)
Megan Robb (Monifieth LFC)
Lucy Smith (Hearts LFC)
Thursday, 05 November 2015 13:50 Written by Robert Wilson
Northern Ireland 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Wales 1-2 Scotland
Scotland 0-1 Northern Ireland
Wales 2-1 Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland
Wales 3-1 Nothern Ireland
Final League Table
|4||Rep. Of Ireland||3||0||2||1||2||3||-1||1|
The SYFA National 16's squad has been announced. Click here to view the squad.
Bryan Cairns - Hutchison Vale FC
Ryan Connelly - Lochgelly Albert Colts
Finlay Cook - Culter BC
Jake Coulter - Syngenta Juveniles
Matthew Coyle - Harmony Row YC
Joshua Edwards - Crosshouse BC
Robbie Fotheringham - Stenhousemuir FC
Lewis Gill - Tynecastle FC
Kieran Jack - Hutchison Vale FC
Harris Kay - Lochgelly Albert Colts
Steven Kyle - Burnhead Colts
Conor McBrearty - Rossvale FC
Callum Millar - Cambuslang FC
Hamish Milne - Glenrothes Strollers
Stephen Mooney - Hamilton Accies
Jordan Orr - Galston YFC
Lewis Paterson - Stamperland FC
Grant Rose - Hutchison Vale FC
Reenan Ward - Tynecastle FC
Cameron Watson - Hutchison Vale FC
Dylan Whitten - Renfrew Victoria YFC
Kieran Wilson - Glenrothes Strollers
Thursday, 22 October 2015 00:00 Written by Chris Cromar
The 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship takes place in Poland from the 16th to the 30th of June, 2017. Matches will take place across seven different stadia in seven different cities across the country. Sweden are the current holders of the competition after defeating Portugal on penalties in June’s final of the 2015 edition in Prague.
For the first time in the tournament’s history, the 2017 edition will see twelve teams competing, unlike the previous ones, which saw eight compete. The nine group winners will automatically qualify for the tournament, where they will join Poland in the finals.
Out of the nine groups, only the four best runners-up qualify for the two-legged play-offs, with the two winners qualifying. Results against the side finishing sixth in the group do not count in the ranking of second-placed teams, as two of the groups only have five teams.
The Scotland U21 side has not qualified for the European Under-21 Championship since 1996, although they reached the play-offs for the 2004 and 2011 editions, but were unable to overcome Croatia and Iceland respectively.
Scotland's Group (Group 3)
Group 3 includes France, a squad with many talented players, including Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman and their captain, Aymeric Laporte of Alteltic Bilbao. Iceland could be considered an up-and-coming footballing nation, but with their senior side reaching the 2016 UEFA European Championship in France next summer, their youth team will be confident. Their under-21 side also played at the 2011 Under-21 Championship in Denmark, where they qualified by beating Scotland in the play-offs.
Also in Group 3 is Ukraine, who also reached the 2011 edition of the tournament, FYR Macedonia will provide tricky opposition to the Scots, with recent results improving, and Northern Ireland, another team whose senior side has qualified for Euro 2016 next summer.
Group 3 so far
The group got underway in June, as Iceland got their campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable 3-0 home win against Macedonia in Reykjavik.
Scotland’s first game was an away trip against Northern Ireland on the 5th of September. The game at Lurgan’s Mourneview Park saw the Scots win by two goals to one. Northern Ireland took an early lead through Mikhail Kennedy’s goal, but goals from Ryan Christie and Ryan Fraser ensured the Scots got off to the perfect start.
The same day also saw two shocks in the group, as Iceland beat France 3-2 at home andh Macedonia beating Ukraine 1-0, also at home. Three days later Iceland were then held at home to Northern Ireland in a 1-1 draw.
October’s qualifiers got underway as Iceland secured an away 1-0 victory in Ukraine. Two days later on the 10th of October, France beat Scotland 2-1 at Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen, as a Stephen Kingsley's own goal and a Corentin Tolisso strike secured the win for France in front of a crowd of 3,025. Billy King scored a late consolation goal for the Scots, in a match in which Sporting Lisbon’s Ryan Gauld was sent off.
The 13th of October saw Scotland face group leaders Iceland at Pittodrie. In front of a crowd of 1,985, Scotland had many chances to win the match, but a good defensive performance from Iceland saw Scotland being able to only get a point from the match. Elsewhere in the group, France beat Ukraine 2-0 in Strasbourg, while Macedonia defeated Northern Ireland 2-1 in Lurgan.
At the present time, Scotland sit fourth in Group 3, with four points out of a possible nine. The Scots are seven points behind Iceland, although have two games in hand. Iceland are the only unbeaten side so far in the group, with eleven points, while France are second on six points, along with Macedonia in third. Northern Ireland have a point, while Ukraine have lost all three of their matches so far.
Scotland’s remaining fixtures
Up next for Scotland is a vital match on the 13th of November against Ukraine at St. Mirren Park in Paisley, which is seen as a must-win match for the Scots. Scotland must then wait until March for their next qualifiers, as they place France away on the 25th of March, before facing Northern Ireland at home on the 29th.
Scotland face a double-header in September next year, as the Scots face Macedonia at home on the 2nd, with Ukraine away on the 6th. Then next October, Scotland play Iceland away on the 5th, with the group finishing with an away trip to Macedonia on the 8th.
Overview of the campaign so far
A mixed start to the campaign for Scotland so far. A good away victory in Northern Ireland, a defeat, despite a good performance against France, while a draw against Iceland in a match that should have been won. The next match against Ukraine is vital for the Scots, with a win a must if Scoland, at least, want to finish second and have a chance of a play-off spot.
There is a lot of good quality players in the U21 pool, with Callum Paterson and Ryan Gauld already having been in Gordon Strachan’s senior squad. New captain John McGinn has impressed in the centre of the park for the Scots, whilst Ryan Christie and Sam Nicholson have caused the opposition problems with their attacking flair.
With the Scotland senior team unfortunately not qualifying for Euro 2016, or at least the play-offs, this gives the U21 players a good chance of making the step up to the senior squad in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that begin next September. Also, Hull City defender Andrew Robertson could return to the U21 squad from the senior squad to help the team in the qualifiers for Poland.
Elsewhere in qualifying
At the moment eight teams find themselves having made a perfect start. They are Belgium, Italy, Serbia, Portugal, Croatia, Germany, Austria, and England.
England find themselves two from two in a group with Norway, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The other home nations find themselves in contrasting groups. The Republic of Ireland have one of the hardest groups as they currently sit behind unbeaten Serbia and Italy, and with Slovenia a place behind them on joint points. Wales though are unbeaten from three in a group with Bulgaria, Romania, and Denmark. At present, they look in good shape to form a real challenge for the top spot.
The last group matches take place in October 2016, with the play-off matches taking place in November, 2016.
2015 Victory Shield
Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, SCOTLAND, Wales
1st November – 5th November 2015
The Scotland squad for the newly revamped Victory Shield was today announced. Scotland will travel to Newport in Wales to participate in the round robin tournament which will now take place over the space of a week and will see the Republic of Ireland participating instead of England.
Scotland's fixture timetable is:
1st November Scotland V Wales - 4.00pm (Dragon Park)
3rd November Scotland V Northern Ireland - 2.00pm (Newport Stadium)
5th November Scotland V Republic of Ireland - 2.00pm (Newport Stadium)
Scotland Under-16 squad for 2015 Victory Shield:
Jon McCracken (Hamilton Academical)
Ryan Mullen (Celtic)
Stephen Welsh (Celtic)
Lewis Mayo (Rangers)
Jack Thomson (Rangers)
Kieran Freeman (Dundee United)
Daniel Church (Celtic)
Scott Gray (Rangers)
Kyle Smith (Heart of Midlothian)
Jordan Houston (Rangers)
Stephen Kelly (Rangers)
Elliot Watt (Preston North End)
Sebastian Ross (Aberdeen)
Aidan Maxwell (Forth Valley Academy)
Jack Paterson (Kilmarnock)
Christian Antoniazzi (Celtic)
Jack Aitchison (Celtic)
Zak Rudden (Rangers)
Glenn Middleton (Norwich City)
Lewis Hutchison (Aberdeen)