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Wednesday, 12 August 2015 11:29

Ricky Sbragia named new Scotland under-21 coach

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Former Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia has been announced as the new Scotland under-21 head coach. 

The 59-year-old was previously coach of the under-19 team and will be assisted by former Hearts and Hibs coach Donald Park.

"I am very proud to have been offered the position of Scotland Under-21 head coach," Sbragia said. 

"I am acutely aware of the importance of the job in what for many young professionals should be the final stage before entering the full international team.

"The primary responsibility is to help prepare players to make that leap to Gordon Strachan’s A squad but it is also important that we work hard to ensure we are ready to make an impact in the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers which start in September.

"With the help and support of our senior clubs, it is my ambition to help our most talented young players excel at the highest level of international age-group football which, in turn, can only aid their development at their respective clubs."

Sbragia's coaching career has spanned roles at Manchester United (reserve-team coach), Bolton Wanderers (first-team coach) and Sunderland (youth, reserve and first-team coach).

Scot Gemmill, who took Scotland under-17s to back-to-back European Championship finals, will take over the management of the under-19 team.

"Ricky has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience at the highest levels of coaching and the under-21s will now benefit greatly from that," Scottish FA Performance Director Brian McLair said.

"I am also pleased to confirm Scot as the coach of our under-19 squad after two excellent European Championship campaigns which saw us reach successive finals.

"It is important that as well as being an educational experience for our country’s most talented young players, it should also be an enjoyable and enriching experience for them as people, too.

"I believe there should be a fluidity to our coaching structure, so that our young players can become familiar with the values and principles that we live by from the youngest age group to the senior national team as they make their football journey."

Scotland under-21s start their European Championship qualifying campaign away to Northern Ireland on 5th September, and will host France and Iceland at Pittodrie Stadium in October.

The under-19 squad start their upcoming qualifying campaign in November. 

 
Scottish Colleges travelled south to play Scottish Colleges on Tuesday 12th May 2015 in what has become a regular fixture between the two sides. Cardiff Met University, provided the venue for this international challenge match, at the Cyncoed Campus.
 
Clearly full of confidence, having beaten Scottish Colleges 4-2 already this season in November in Gala, it was Welsh Colleges who started very positively and broke the deadlock with a goal from Sion-Dafydd Williams, just after the 15-minute mark. Wales capitalised on a poor clearance with a chipped ball played over the Scottish defence to Williams, who dispatched neatly past Wilson in the Scottish goal.
 
On 30 minutes, Welsh Colleges fired in a second goal, with a goal from Jordan Davies who found himself unmarked at the back post after a deep cross into the box. The score line was no less than Wales deserved after a very dominant opening display.
 
Scotland came out the blocks quickly in the second half with the hope of turning their fortunes around and were unlucky not have put a few chances into the net, with Zak Wilson and Joshua Anderson both going close.
 
However, against the run of play, Welsh Colleges scored the third and final goal of the match with a superb turn and volley from 25-yards from Jordan Davies, his second of the game. Scotland had a very small glamour of hope when they were awarded a penalty with 5 minutes to play and Wales subsequently getting a man sent off, however Zak Wilson’s attempt was met by a great save from Daniel Evans in the Welsh Goal.
 
After the match, Todd Lumsden, Scotland’s Head Coach, stated “I was disappointed with the goals that we conceded, we shot ourselves in the foot on too many occasions, particularly in the first half, and it ultimately cost us the game. I was pleased with the effort and application and for spells in the match we played some good football, especially when we went two up top early in the second half.“
Scottish Colleges finish the season having won against Scottish Independent Schools in March and lost both fixtures, home and away, against Welsh Colleges.
 
For full match highlights please click here.
 
 
Scotland Squad:
 
Paul Weir
Dundee & Angus College
Frankie Devine
Dundee & Angus College
Zak Wilson
Dundee & Angus College
Paul Cottrell
Dundee & Angus College
Han Agacan
Dundee & Angus College
Jordan McNeill
Edinburgh College (Granton Campus)
Calvin Muttitt
Edinburgh College (Sighthill Campus)
Michael Anderson
Glasgow Clyde College (Cardonald Campus)
Dean Wilson
Glasgow Clyde College (Cardonald Campus)
Kieran Brown
New College Lanarkshire (Cumbernauld College)
Peter Byrne
New College Lanarkshire (Motherwell Campus)
Sean Stewart
Edinburgh College (Granton Campus)
Joshua Anderson
Edinburgh College (Granton Campus)
Dean McLean
New College Lanarkshire (Motherwell Campus)
Martin Docherty
New College Lanarkshire (Motherwell Campus)
 
Monday, 06 April 2015 17:15

The Bob Docherty Cup - Match Centre

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The Bob Docherty Cup takes place at Toryglen Regional Football Centre from the 6th - 9th April 2015 and Youth Football Scotland is delighted to be able to offer the perfect Match DVD Souvenir  Package, which features all the Scotland games and post-match interviews. 
 
Order your copy of the Bob Docherty Cup DVD Package now. The four game package includes each of Scotland's games (alternatively you can order an individual game) and an 8"x6" team photo print of the squad.
 

Bob Docherty Match DVD  Package - order below

 

 
DVD option
 
 
You can also access photos and match reports from each of the games. See below for links to the coverage as soon as they goes live:
 
Post Tournament
 
 
Match Coverage
 
Monday 6th April 2015
 
Scotland 4-0 Northern Ireland
 
England 2-2 Republic of Ireland (England win on penalties)
 
Tuesday 7th April 2015 
 
England vs Scotland
 
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Wales
England 2-0 Wales
Republic of Ireland 2-1 Northern Ireland
 
Wednesday 8th April 2015
 
Scotland 3-0 Wales
 
England 0-0 Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland win on penalties)
 
Thursday 9th April 2015
 
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Scotland
Match report | Photo gallery | Video highlight
 
Northern Ireland 1-2 Wales
 
League Table
 
Scotland - 12pts | +9 gd
Republic of Ireland - 7pts | +1 gd
England - 6pts |  +2 gd
Wales - 3pts | -5 gd
Northern Ireland - 2pts | -3 gd
Sporting Lisbon prospect Ryan Gauld and in-form Hibernian striker Jason Cummings are amongst the names announced today for Scotland U21s' friendly against Hungary at the end of the month.
 
The squad list boasts a surprising six new faces including the likes of Manchester United defender Donald Love.
 
With sights firmly set on the 2017 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifiers in September, Danny Lennon will be hoping to discover his most capable side in order to progress.
 
The Hearts and Hibs contingent is ever present, making up a large part of the squad as well as players from various other Scottish clubs and down south.
 
Other first time call-ups have been handed to Charlie Telfer (Dundee United), Callum McFadzean (Sheffield United), Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen) and Stephen Kingsley (Swansea City). Perhaps the most exciting new addition is Cummings, with 13 goals at the top of the Scottish Championship scorers list, his form has been rewarded and he'll look to get his international tally off the mark. 
 
The inclusion of both Gauld and Cummings will ensure attacking threat and a real opportunity to take the game to Hungary in Budapest on Thursday the 26th March.
 
Since his move to Portugal last year, the Scottish Messi has made only five appearances for the Sporting first team but has notched an impressive two goals so far and turned in a number of impressive performances for the B team.  
 
Scotland U21s' last match resulted in a 1-1 draw away to Switzerland thanks to a late Cameron King (Norwich City) goal. The 19-year-old isn't in the squad this time around which leaves the goalscoring resposibility in the capable hands of the others. 
 
Scotland U21 squad v Hungary 
 
Goalkeepers
Jack Hamilton (Hearts)
Jonathan Henly (Reading)
 
Defenders
Marcus Fraser (Ross County)
Dom Hyam (Reading)
Stephen Kingsley (Swansea City)
Donald Love (Manchester United)
Jordan McGhee (Hearts)
Callum Paterson (Hearts)
Callum McFadzean (Sheffield United)
 
Midfielders
Ryan Christie (Inverness Caledonian Thistle)
Danny Handling (Hibernian)
John McGinn (St Mirren)
Sam Nicholson (Hearts)
Charlie Telfer (Dundee United)
Craig Slater (Kilmarnock)
 
Forwards
Jason Cummings (Hibernian)
Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)
Ryan Gauld (Sporting Lisbon)
Declan McManus (Aberdeen)
Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen) 
Thursday, 12 March 2015 13:32

Scotland Under-19 Squad Announcement

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Photo courtesy of Kelly Neilson

Scotland Under 19 manager Ricky Sbragia has named a strong eighteen man squad for the forthcoming UEFA European Under-19 Championship elite round.

The young Scots will take on Italy, Croatia and Austria between the 26th and 31st March, with the winners progressing to this summers’ finals in Greece.

Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen all have three representatives, while Dundee United’s John Souttar is recalled to the squad following injury. 

Celtic trio Paul McMullam, Calum Waters and Liam Henderson were all in included in first team manager Ronny Deila’s winter trip to Gran Canaria, while Rangers inclusions Liam Kelly, Ryan Sinnamon and Tom Walsh have all featured heavily in this seasons SPFL Development League. 

Development League leaders Aberdeen are represented by captain Scott McKenna - on loan at Ayr United, Craig Storie and captain Scott Wright who was the star of the  UEFA European Under-17 Championship Finals last summer. 

Hamilton Academical striker Eamonn Brophy, who has scored 20 goals in 17 starts for Accies, is one of four forwards in the pool alongside Harry Caldwell of Reading, Bradford City’s Oliver McBurnie and the aforementioned Wright. 

Also represented were runaway Championship leaders Hearts, with two players making the squad. Defender Liam Smith and midfielder Angus Beith have been enjoying first team experience with East Fife and Stirling Albion respectively.

There is however, no room for Dundee United striker Robbie Muirhead or Hibs’ Lewis Allan who has bagged eleven goals so far this campaign.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers

Ryan Fulton (Liverpool)
Liam Kelly (Rangers)
 
Defenders
 
Lewis Martin (Dunfermline Athletic)
Scott McKenna (Aberdeen)
Ryan Sinnamon (Rangers)
Liam Smith (Heart of Midlothian)
John Souttar (Dundee United)
Calum Waters (Celtic)
 
Midfielders

Angus Beith (Heart of Midlothian)
Liam Henderson (Celtic)
James Jones (Crewe Alexandra)
Paul McMullan (Celtic)
Craig Storie (Aberdeen)
Tom Walsh (Rangers)

 
Forwards
 
Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical)
Harry Cardwell (Reading)
Oliver McBurnie (Bradford City)
Scott Wright (Aberdeen)

 

 
Fixture: Ayr United vs St Mirren FC U20s
Competition: Little Big Shot Youth Cup
Venue: Somerset Park
Date: 8th March 2015
 
Ayr United Under 20’s made it through to the semi-finals of the Little Big Shot Youth Cup at the second attempt after the first match was abandoned, due to the weather, with Ayr in the lead. Ayr started the first half well despite St Mirren benefiting from the strong wind. In the 6th minute a long range shot from Gordon Young was saved well by the St Mirren keeper. As the half progressed the visitors came more into the game and after 21 minutes they were unlucky to see a shot hit the side netting. After 27 minutes St Mirren took the lead, after some good play on the left, resulted in a looping shot from their no.11 flying into the top corner of the net.Reagan Ross
 
Ayr United stepped up after going behind and created a number of chances. A header by Sean McKenzie went wide and some good play between Dale Shirkie, Darren McGill and Ryan Nisbet lead to a corner which was cleared. In the 35th minute a good break down the right allowed Ryan Nisbet to get off a shot that was well saved by the St Mirren keeper while five minutes later both Mick Wardrope and the St Mirren no.11 were booked after clashing.
 
Half Time: Ayr United 0-1 St Mirren
 
The second half kicked off in driving rain with Ayr attacking the Somerset Road end. Ayr dominated much of the second half with St Mirren conceding a series of free kicks in their own half. Despite their dominance Ayr did not created enough clear cut chances until in the 69th minute a good shot from Ryan Nisbet clipped the post. In the 73rd minute Ayr made their first substitution with Ryan McGuffie replacing Darren McGill.
 
With time running out Ayr increased their assaults on the St Mirren goal which resulted in a succession of corners. In the 84 minute one of these corners led to a well deserved equaliser when Sean McKenzie headed back across goal for Josh McArthur to head home. As extra time approached Ayr were denied what looked like an penalty when Sean McKenzie was bundled to the ground in the box.
 
Full Time: Ayr United 1-1 St Mirren
 
St Mirren started the first period of extra time on the front foot and hit the post after just 2 minutes then Shaun Newman made a good save after a breakaway. An Ayr chance in the 10th minute lead to a challenge on the keeper that saw Kieran Woods booked.
 
At the start of the second period of extra time Ayr introduced Steven McCreadie who replaced Gordon Young. Minutes into the second half Ayr got their deserved winner when Ryan Nisbet intercepted a cross field pass, drove into the box and slotted it past the keeper. In the 19th minute Ayr were reduced to 10 men when Kieran Woods was shown a second yellow card for a foul. Ayr immediately withdrew Sean McKenzie for Reagan Ross (pictured) to bolster up the defence and held on comfortably for a well deserved win.
 
Final Result: Ayr United 2-1 St Mirren (AET)
 
Ayr United: Shaun Newman, Kieran Woods, Andy Muir, Josh McArthur, Craig McCracken, Gordon Young, Darren McGill, Mick Wardrope, Sean McKenzie, Dale Shirkie, Ryan Nisbet. Subs: Steven McCreadie, Reagan Ross, Craig McGuffie, Peter McGill, Lyall Avcii.
 
 
 

 

English Independent Schools
 vs
Scottish Independent Schools
 
 
 
Girls Independent Schools Challenge Match
St George's Park
16 December 2014
 
 
 
The FA Performance Centre at St George’s Park provided an illustrious setting for the first ever full international fixture for a SISFA Girls’ squad; a real landmark, as our U16s headed south to the Staffordshire countryside to take on what we knew would be a strong England team.
 
The Scots started the game very much on the front foot, taking the game to their hosts, and the resultant early pressure paid off as striker Grace Molloy found time and space in the box to fire home. 
 
That old adage of a team being at its most vulnerable immediately after scoring certainly came home to roost, as England drew level within a minute, bundling the ball in from a free kick.
 
To the SISFA girls’ credit, however, they did not allow this setback to unsettle them and quickly found themselves dominating possession once again, with the central midfield trio of Georgia Adderley, Kate Alexander and Ciara Keenan doing sterling work in winning the ball and feeding it out to the wide areas. 
 
It thus came as no surprise when Scotland edged back in front, this time through Helena Todd, whose work out wide on the right was keeping the England rear guard busy, as she turned sharply and delivered a fine finish. 
 
Not to be outdone, Amber Paterson was also having considerable joy out on the left where she was able to use her pace to great effect, getting in behind the opposing defence and into promising positions. Indeed, she can count herself most unfortunate not to have got herself onto the score sheet, as Scotland piled on the pressure and created a number of fine chances, hitting both post and crossbar in the process.
 
As the first half wore on the Scots’ defence was rarely troubled and took on an increasingly solid look, wonderfully marshalled by centre backs Lynsey Carlyle and Katie MacDonald, who had by now forged a strong partnership. 
 
Left back Colette Cavanagh was not only nullifying an opponent whose pace and trickery posed a real threat, but with her marauding, penetrating runs deep into the England half was herself having a real impact as an attacking force. 
 
Meanwhile Kirsty Buist, not accustomed to playing at right back, showed good positional awareness and strength in the tackle, and on the rare occasions when England did manage to breach the Scottish back line they found in Whitney McMahon a goalkeeper who was both brave and alert to snuffing out any danger.
 
Having travelled with a squad of only thirteen and aware of the need to rotate players to keep things fresh, Sarah McLaren and Aicha Keita entered the fray before half time, making telling contributions in holding midfield and striking roles respectively. 
 
Half Time : English Independent Schools 1-2 Scottish Independent Schools
 
With Scotland 2-1 up at the break, the only real concern was the slenderness of the lead, and the early part of the second half did indeed suggest that we might ultimately rue earlier spurned opportunities, as England turned the game around with two goals in six minutes, their equaliser being a particularly good strike. 
 
However, the Scots – despite the inevitable onset of fatigue – were by no means finished yet and delivered the perfect response within two minutes of falling behind for the first and only time, courtesy of arguably the best move of the match finished off by Grace Molloy following some fantastic link up play with Georgia Adderley.
 
Fast forward a mere four minutes and once again it was Grace Molloy who showed real composure as she lobbed the England goalkeeper from distance to put SISFA 4-3 up and cap an outstanding performance by sealing her hat trick.
 
With more than quarter of an hour still to play and England desperately seeking an equaliser the tension was verging on unbearable, as the Scotland girls summoned every last remaining ounce of energy to keep their hosts at bay. 
 
Though England forced a number of corners and free kicks, the Scots’ defence and midfield remained resolute to the last, with Georgia Adderley very nearly delivering the crowning glory with a curling strike which looked for all the world like it was heading for the top right hand corner before sailing narrowly wide. 
 
As it was the final whistle brought both elation and relief, as Scotland saw out a remarkable victory courtesy of a superb team performance in a pulsating match. 
 
Full Time : English Independent Schools 3-4 Scottish Independent Schools
 
Scottish Independent Schools :
 
ADDERLEY Georgia, The Mary Erskine School
ALEXANDER Kate, George Watson’s College
BUIST Kirsty, The Mary Erskine School
CARLYLE Lynsey, Hamilton College
CAVANAGH Colette, St Aloysius’ College
KEENAN Ciara, George Watson’s College
KEITA Aicha, George Heriot’s School
MACDONALD Katie, Strathallan School
MCLAREN Sarah, George Heriot’s School
MCMAHON Whitney, St David’s High School
MOLLOY Grace, The Mary Erskine School
PATERSON Amber, Strathallan School
TODD Helena, St George’s School for Girls
 
 
 
 
As Scotland prepare to open their defence of the Victory Shield, manager Scot Gemmill insists his side are out to win, but is keen to balance what is a results based industry with the development of our future stars. 
 
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the former Nottingham Forest and Everton midfielder said: “With no players in the squad that were involved last year, it’s a completely new group and the main aim is to get the balance right. Everyone wants to win it, but we have to balance that with development. 
 
“I would admit that, sometimes, I’ve forgotten that and have been too results orientated.  It is very difficult to get the balance between doing your utmost to win games but at the same time remember that it is about the development of the players as well.”
 
Having worked with Mark Wotte over the past year, Gemmill feels the Dutchman’s influence and legacy will have a positive effect for many years to come. Wotte stepped down as the Scottish FA’s first Performance Director last week, and Gemmill credits him with the introduction of the Performance Schools and increasing the number of matches and calibre of opposition that the youth teams of all age ranges play.
 
“One difference I’ve noticed and I’m aware of, is that the games the youth teams have played in the last few years have been against good teams, really competitive games. I know that’s something Mark’s spoke of and something I believe in too. Playing best v best at that level really does help you. The guys at Under 17 level had played roughly 25 games and I think that showed.”
 
Gemmill also cites the introduction of the SPFL Development League as a positive step in the future of our youngsters. He commented: “The more games they play, the more knowledge they amass and the more experience they gain. Bit by bit, they almost become better players without necessarily knowing about it, it almost happens unconsciously. In the future, they’ll be better, and I would include the Victory Shield in that. The players that play come out the other side better players without even noticing it and I think it’s the same with the league structure.”
 
For Hibs hitman Jack Adamson, watching last year’s Victory Shield triumph inspired him to emulate their achievements this year. Adamson, who previously played for Linlithgow BFC, can play out on the left wing or up front, said: “Ever since the first Scotland training camp my main aim has been to be picked for the Victory Shield so I’m just glad I’ve managed it. I saw a few of the games from last year and it looked like a great atmosphere and I can’t wait to be a part of something similar.”
 
Dundee United defender Kieran Freeman is also relishing Friday’s game, which is being played at St Mirren Park. Freeman, 14, is the youngest member of the squad and has caught the eye of Manchester United, who have invited him to Carrington on a number of occasions. He explained: “It’s something we all want a taste of and from a personal point playing a year under, I’ll just work hard and hope to get picked again next year. 
 
His Dundee United teammate Ali Coote received plaudits for this performance in last year’s Victory Shield and Freeman says Tannadice is the place to be for any youngster. He added: “If you’re good enough at Dundee United you’ll get the chance to break into the first time. I think there was a lot of pressure on him after he scored and started to make a name for himself, but he really enjoyed coming away with the squad and playing for the trophy.”
 
Freeman is a product of Performance School St John’s High School, and commented: “I feel like I’ve come on massively from being involved. We have a coach Iain Jenkins who has a lot of experience, plus we’re training every day.”
 
Describing his normal day, Kieran says he has to wake up around 5am and doesn’t return home until 7pm, with the pressure of schoolwork and normal teenage life on top of his already hectic football schedule. Acknowledging the time commitment and dedication required, Freeman realises that all of the time, effort and setbacks will be worth it to pull on a Scotland jersey and play for his country. 
 
Scotland take on Northern Ireland on Friday night at St Mirren Park, kick off is 7pm. 
 
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 16:25

SSS seek college footballers to join national squad

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The hunt is on for the best footballers in Scottish Colleges to represent their country. The programme has run for a few years now with a representative squad from FE institutions travelling within Scotland and beyond to play fixtures against the likes of Scottish Independent Schools, English Colleges and Welsh Colleges, among others.
Trials for this programme are listed below:
 
East Trial:
 
Date: Monday 22nd September 2014 
Times: 12:30-3pm 
Location: Sports Academy, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS
 
West Trial:
 
Date: Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Times: 1:30-4pm
Location: Garscube Sports Complex, Glasgow University, Glasgow, G20 0SP
 
Nominations can be made via the following link: http://tinyurl.com/m8hco9u 
 
Deadline for nominations is Thursday 18th September.
 
Download a presentation for more information on the programme by clicking here > files/SSS_College_Football_1415.pdf
YFSRadio was at Forthbank Stadium to provide live and exclusive commentary from the Vauxhall International Challenge Match between Scotland and Switzerland U15's. You can now listen back to the commentary below: 
 
 
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