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Scotland v Armenia

Scotland v Armenia Nations League Hampden Park Wednesday 8th June, 2022 | KO 7:45pm

Scotland v Armenia
Nations League
Hampden Park
Wednesday 8th June, 2022 | KO 7:45pm

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SCOTLAND V

ARMENIA

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

7.45pm

Hampden Park

Lead partners of the

Scotland National Teams

OOcial matchday programme £5


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Scottish FA

Hampden Park

Glasgow

G42 9AY

0141 616 6000

Scottish FA Online:

e. info@scottishfa.co.uk

w. www.scottishfa.co.uk

Twitter. @ScotlandNT

Facebook.com/

scotlandnationalteam

OFFICE BEARERS:

President

Rod Petrie

Chief executive

Ian Maxwell

Vice-president

Mike Mulraney

Programme produced on

behalf of the Scottish FA by

Ignition Sports Media

ignitionsportsmedia.com

Production: David Middleton

Photography:

SNS Pix, PA Images

Commissioning Editor:

Ronnie Esplin

Managing Editor:

Ross MacDonald-Allan

Please note that the views

expressed in this programme

do not necessarily reflect

those of the Scottish FA.

The Scottish Football

Association Limited is a

private company limited

by guarantee, registered in

Scotland, with its registered

office at Hampden Park,

Glasgow G42 9AY and

company number SC005453.

IN THIS ISSUE...

04 / MANAGER’S WELCOME

Steve Clarke looks forward to a

new Nations League campaign

06 / BACK ON THE HORSE

Scotland are looking to

gallop out of the stalls in their

Nations League campaign

12 / LOOKING FOR

THE NEXT HIGH

Billy Gilmour is determined

to ensure Scotland’s recent

dip was a one-off

18 / ON THIS DATE

Scotland 2-1 Cyprus

(European Championship

qualifier: 8 June 2019)

20 / YOU’RE HISTORY

The visiting manager recalls

a special previous trip to

Glasgow and savours a

Hampden Park debut

26 / ARMENIA IN NUMBERS

28 / ‘THIS IS FOR US: TOGETHER’

A stirring speech from a Scot

still drives tonight’s visitors

34 / ALLAN CAMPBELL Q & A

It’s been a memorable season

for the Luton Town midfielder

40 / THE REWARDS ARE CLEAR

One of Steve Clarke’s coaches

helped fire Scotland to Nations

League success four years ago

44 / A NATIONS LEAGUE AGAIN

Scotland know all about the

rewards this tournament can offer

50 / MOMENT IN TIME

Scotland 1-0 Czech Republic

(14 October, 2020)

52 / FINISHING SCHOOL

FOR MANAGERS

The latest batch of Pro Licence

students will graduate tonight

56 / A BUMP IN THE ROAD

Scotland are looking to show they

are still moving forward despite

World Cup disappointment

61 / ON A RECCE WITH REEKY

Fan Steve McCorquodale

recounts a previous trip to

Armenia on Scotland duty

66 / TONIGHT’S SQUADS

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee:

Sebastian Gishamer (AUT)

Assistant referees:

Maximilian Weiss (AUT)

Jasmin Sabanovic (AUT)

4th official:

Christopher Jaeger (AUT)

Video Assistant Referee:

Felix Zwayer (GER)

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 3


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 4


MANAGER’S WELCOME

Good evening and welcome to Hampden Park.

Tonight marks the start of a new Nations

League campaign - one that we hope

will bear as much fruit for us as the

last one that led us to Euro 2020.

This evening’s game officially begins a new

qualification campaign because, although

the Nations League is a competition in itself,

it is also a potential route to Euro 2024.

It is also a chance to move on from our

disappointing exit from the FIFA World

Cup play-offs at the hands of Ukraine.

Last autumn we put ourselves in a good

position with some very good performances

to achieve that, but credit must go to Ukraine

who were the better side on the night.

It is an ambition of mine to lead this squad

to a World Cup, but the best way to put

the result against Ukraine behind us is

to not let it affect what is ahead of us.

I believe that this group of players is young

enough and talented enough to qualify for

another major tournament, starting tonight

as we begin our journey to UEFA Euro 2024.

Everyone in the squad knows how important

the Nations League is to us since it was

instrumental in our qualification for Euro 2020.

Our immediate goal is to win the group, which

would not only secure promotion to the top

tier of the Nations League, but also provide

the safety net of a play-off spot for Euro 2024

and improve our seeding for the qualification

campaign for the tournament next year.

I have said previously that one of my

targets was to improve our seeding

for future qualification campaigns. If

winning this Nations League group were

to help move us up to second seeds for

the qualification campaign next year,

then that would be a huge boost for our

chances of automatic qualification.

We know that this objective will not be easy,

however, with all three opponents in our

group formidable. While tonight’s opponents,

Armenia, represent a step into the unknown,

having never faced them before, we saw in

their victory over the Republic of Ireland last

week that they must not be underestimated.

They will pose a threat and we must be

at the top of our game to ensure that this

campaign starts on a positive note.

We have managed to put together two

unbeaten runs in the past two years, going

nine unbeaten prior to Euro 2020 and

eight unbeaten prior to last week’s result.

A similar run will see us achieve success

in the Nations League, starting tonight.

I hope the fans are out in numbers and

that you get behind the team from start

to finish. I know you would all have been

as disappointed as myself, the players

and my backroom staff after last week,

but your backing in recent matches has

made a huge difference to the players.

The best way forward is for everyone

to stick together. If that happens,

then I’m confident that we can go on

to achieve success as a nation.

Enjoy the game.

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 1 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 5


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 6

› › ›

BACK

ON THE

HORSE

SCOTLAND ARE LOOKING TO

GALLOP OUT OF THE STALLS IN

THEIR NATIONS LEAGUE CAMPAIGN

WORDS: MICHAEL GRANT, THE TIMES


› › ›

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 7


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The time has come

to saddle up. A new

race begins against

Armenia at Hampden

Park tonight and, as the

manager has said, Scotland

must get back on the horse.

At the end of a long and gruelling

season it is a fresh start and

the opening of a new chapter.

There isn’t a player, coach,

staff member or supporter who

doesn’t still feel some hurt and

disappointment about going out

of the World Cup to Ukraine last

week. The pain was real and it

will linger but there is nothing

to be gained from prolonged

moping. As Steve Clarke said

within minutes of the play-off

semi-final defeat: “We’ll feel sorry

for ourselves, we’ll analyse the

game, and then we’ll get back

on the horse and go again.”

So tonight that is what everyone

must do. The World Cup will go

ahead without Scotland - and

it will be a poignant watch for

the Tartan Army when the finals

come around in November. By

the time it happens the whole

Nations League campaign, which

begins tonight, will have come

and gone too. Six games against

Armenia, the Republic of Ireland

and, of course, Ukraine again.

Supporters are slowly getting

used to the Nations League and

gradually coming to appreciate

its place and its significance.

How could they not, when

Scotland winning their inaugural

group with Israel and Albania

in 2018 secured the play-off

place which eventually led to

those unforgettable penalty

shoot-out triumphs against

Israel and Serbia, qualification

for Euro 2020 and the end of

the agonising 23-year wait to

make it to a major tournament?

Coming top in that first crack at

the Nations League also secured

promotion from League C to B - a

tangible sign of progress - and

a 2020/21 campaign against

the Czech Republic, Israel and

Slovakia. Scotland finished

second behind the Czechs.

The Nations League already

has been good for Scotland and

it can be again. Winning this

group would secure the safety

net of a play-off for Euro 2024

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 9


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 10

before the regular qualification

campaign for that begins next

year. It would also likely secure a

place among the second seeds

for Euro 2024 qualifying and if

Scotland were to then finish to

that seeding, ie in the top two,

they would guarantee a place at

the finals in Germany without the

stress of needing a play-off at all.

With FIFA rankings of 27

(Ukraine) and 47 (Republic of

Ireland) it seems obvious where

the main dangers are to Scotland

in this latest Nations League,

but it is the team sitting at 92nd

which arrives in Glasgow top of

the table with only one game

played so far in section B1.

Clarke and his staff have had to

take a crash course on Armenia.

Not only have these countries

never met on a football field,

Armenia’s last two results are

wildly conflicting. In March they

were mowed down 9-0 in a

friendly against Norway in Oslo

when Erling Haaland scored

twice before being substituted

at half-time. But that awful

battering shaped how they

played in their next game against

the Irish in Yerevan last Saturday.

Coach Joaquín Caparrós’ tactics

were understandably defensive

but that gave them a foothold in

the game and in the second half

they grew in confidence, began

to push Ireland back and scored

a wonderful winner from the

talented 21-year-old midfielder

Eduard Spertsyan, who plays

with Krasnodar in Russia.

In experienced attacking

midfielder Tigran Barseghyan of

Slovan Bratislava in Slovakia -

their top scorer with eight goals

from 47 caps - and playmaker

Khoren Bayramyan of Rostov

in Russia, they had others who

might also trouble Scotland.

And let no-one at Hampden

be in any doubt about the

confidence coursing through the

visitors. “It’s one of the greatest

victories of the Armenian

football team,” said Caparrós

after the Irish were beaten.

Ironically that came after the

country’s most famous footballer,

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, announced

his international retirement in

March. The former Borussia

Dortmund, Manchester United

and Arsenal star, now with Roma,

called it a day aged 33 after 32

WINNING THIS

GROUP WOULD

SECURE THE

SAFETY NET

OF A PLAY-OFF

FOR EURO

2024 BEFORE

THE REGULAR

QUALIFICATION

CAMPAIGN FOR

THAT BEGINS

NEXT YEAR


IT IS HUGELY

IMPORTANT TO

START ANOTHER

CAMPAIGN WITH

A WIN AND ALSO

TO REWARD THE

TARTAN ARMY,

WHICH WILL BE

BACK ON THE

HAMPDEN SLOPES

HOPING FOR GOALS

AND THREE POINTS

AFTER LAST

WEEK’S BLOW

goals, 95 appearances and six

years as captain of his country.

Going out of the World Cup felt

like an end for Scotland of course

but much has been made of the

club mentality fostered during

Clarke’s management and every

club must quickly pick itself

up and go again after a major

setback. Captain Andy Robertson

and his team have to do exactly

that when they get back on the

horse tonight. Kieran Tierney,

Nathan Patterson and Ryan Jack

were unavailable last midweek

and Lyndon Dykes was forced to

withdraw a few days later. But

Clarke picked a 28-man squad in

the expectation of such setbacks.

The likes of John Souttar, Jack

Hendry, Scott McKenna, Stephen

O’Donnell and Jacob Brown are

all among the options if Clarke

chooses to refresh things, but

perhaps this is a time for letting

last week’s beaten side play

out its disappointment by going

again. It is hugely important to

start another campaign with

a win and also to reward the

Tartan Army, which will be

back on the Hampden slopes

hoping for goals and three

points after last week’s blow.

Scotland face the Republic of

Ireland in Dublin on Saturday

evening and then Armenia

again in the heat of Yerevan

next Tuesday, when the curtain

will finally come down on a

season which will have featured

an incredible 13 international

fixtures since Euro 2020.

But this is day one of a journey

which could end with Scotland

making it to Germany in the

summer of 2024. Only once

have we ever qualified for

two consecutive European

Championships - Euro ‘92 and

Euro ‘96 under Andy Roxburgh

and then Craig Brown - and

now we know that Clarke has

lost none of his desire to be

the first manager since Brown

to take the country to a World

Cup. After the Ukraine loss he

told the players he could only

be confident of still being the

boss by 2026 if they first helped

him qualify for Euro 2024.

So shake off the disappointment,

lift the heads and get the horses

out. It’s time to ride again.

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 11


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 12

LOOKING FOR

THE NEXT HIGH

Billy Gilmour is determined to ensure

Scotland’s recent dip was a one-off

WORDS: SCOTT McDERMOTT, SUNDAY MAIL

Billy Gilmour barely looks big

enough to go on a theme park

thrill ride. But right now, he’s

on a Scotland journey that

has started off with highs and

lows, and twists and turns.

And to be fair to the Chelsea

youngster, he’s stood as tall as

anyone in Steve Clarke’s squad

throughout a topsy-turvy spell for

the national side.

Gilmour burst on to the scene

just in time to be part of Euro

2020 - the first major tournament

Scotland had qualified for in 23

years.

His performance against England

at Wembley in the 0-0 group

phase draw was a major high

point, both for Gilmour and an

adoring Tartan Army.

The 20-year-old has become an

integral part of Clarke’s team.

The partnership he has forged

with Callum McGregor at the heart

of our midfield has been a key

factor in some of Scotland’s most

impressive recent displays.

But life as a footballer is rarely a

permanent upward curve.

Gilmour found that out to his cost

last week as Clarke’s men suffered

a painful 3-1 defeat to Ukraine at

Hampden in the World Cup playoff

semi-final.

Like every player in a dark blue

shirt, he came off the pitch

devastated at missing out on a

crack at Qatar 2022.

But Gilmour has an old head on

young shoulders.


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 13


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For a long time, he’s been mature

beyond his years and the boy from

Ardrossan is as humble as they

come.

Even at club level, he’s enjoyed

the positivity of his Chelsea

breakthrough and one particularly

eye-catching cameo against

Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

Yet last season, while on loan

at Carrow Road, he was part of

a Norwich City outfit who were

relegated from the Premier League.

So Gilmour is getting used to those

twists and turns, highs and lows.

And his level-headed nature will be

vital in ensuring he recovers from

the blow of that Ukraine loss to

focus on Scotland’s next challenge -

a Nations League campaign which

kicks off against Armenia.

Gilmour said: “We need to bounce

back now. Football is like a

rollercoaster, there are always ups

and downs.

“But we need to make sure we’re

ready for Armenia, put in a good

performance and hopefully get

three points.

“This is when you will see the

characters we have in the squad.

We’ve got some experienced

players and, for some of the younger

boys, this is new to us. We’re all

helping each other to get through.

“The Ukraine game was a sore

one to take but now we need to

concentrate on these Nations

League games. On the night,

Ukraine were the better team and

we never played to the level we’ve

played at in the past.

“We all know what we’re capable

of and we want a positive start

against Armenia to show that we

can move on. We have to pick

ourselves up, we can’t feel sorry

for ourselves because of one result.

We have three important matches

coming up that we want to do well

in.

“We will always be confident

because we know how good a

WE WILL

ALWAYS BE

CONFIDENT

BECAUSE WE

KNOW HOW

GOOD A TEAM

WE ARE, WITH

GOOD PLAYERS

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 15


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 16


team we are, with good players.

When we perform, we do really

well and we can get good results.

Hopefully we can prove that again

in these games coming up.”

Scotland were excellent for most

of the World Cup qualifying

campaign - a 2-0 victory over

Denmark at Hampden cemented

our place in the play-offs.

Ultimately, they fell short in their

11th game, which denied them a

final against Wales in Cardiff.

But as Clarke and his players

discovered two years ago, the

Nations League can also lead to

glory. Who can forget the penalty

shoot-out win in Serbia that got us

to Euro 2020?

And this campaign could yield

a similar reward with a place at

the European Championship in

Germany up for grabs in 2024.

Gilmour is fully aware of what’s at

stake.

He said: “We know that is a route

to the Euros. It’s a good chance

that we can take and that’s what

we’re hoping to do.

“We have a good enough squad

to qualify, we have great players

in this team. And for myself, I

really want to go to tournaments

with Scotland. For everyone in

the camp, players, coaching staff,

supporters, the ambition is to

qualify for big tournaments.

“This is a fresh campaign now and

we’re all focused on these Nations

League games. We can’t change

what has happened in the past,

we need to move on.

“This can set us off in the right

direction for the future. We were

on a good run before Ukraine,

unbeaten in eight games. We

wanted to continue that but

we need to go again now, pick

ourselves up and start another

unbeaten run.”

These games, against Armenia

twice and Republic of Ireland,

are part of a hectic schedule for

international players at the end of

a gruelling season. But Gilmour will

never baulk at pulling on a Scotland

shirt at any time of the year.

He expects tough games against

the Armenians and Irish - but is

determined to pick up maximum

points.

The Chelsea playmaker said: “I’m

new to this but I’m really enjoying

it. I love coming away to play for

my country, it’s always a proud

moment to represent Scotland and

when I’m out on the pitch, I give

my all. Every time I play, I want to

do Scotland proud.

“We all do, and we want to get

three wins from these games.

Every match will be difficult so we

need to make sure we’re at it.

“We’ve been watching Armenia

and working on the best ways to

break them down. They’re a hard

team to play against, they’re well

organised and have good players.

So we need to make sure we don’t

get frustrated and stay patient.

“At Hampden, hopefully the Tartan

Army will keep supporting us

because we can hear them. Our

fans have been great so far, they

just need to continue that.

“We’re ready to go again and

hopefully they’re as loud as

possible.”

I LOVE COMING

AWAY TO

PLAY FOR MY

COUNTRY,

IT’S ALWAYS

A PROUD

MOMENT TO

REPRESENT

SCOTLAND

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 17


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 18

SCOTLAND 2

CYPRUS 1

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

QUALIFYING | 8 JUNE 2019

Steve Clarke started his era as

Scotland boss on a winning note

thanks to a late winner against

Cyprus at Hampden Park on this

date three years ago.

Captain Andy Robertson’s

stunning opener on the hour

mark was cancelled out with

three minutes remaining when

Ionnis Kousoulos headed in from

a corner.

Yet substitute Oliver Burke

provided the winner just 138

seconds later with his first

international goal, as the Scots

secured a dramatic win to remain

level with Russia in European

Championship Qualifying Group I

and stretch their unbeaten run on

home soil to nine games.


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 19


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 20

YOU’RE

HISTORY

The visiting manager recalls

a special previous trip to

Glasgow and savours a

Hampden debut

Armenia manager Joaquín

Caparros paid homage to

Scotland and Hampden

Park ahead of tonight’s

Nations League fixture at

the national stadium.

A piece of football history will

be made as it is the first time

the two countries have faced

each other at international level.

The 66-year-old has vast

managerial experience with a

host of clubs including Deportivo

La Coruna, Villarreal, Real

Mallorca and Athletic Bilbao

in Spain, Neuchâtel Xamax in

Switzerland, Al Ahli in Qatar, as

well as the Andalusia national

team, before he took over as

Armenia boss in March 2020.

Caparros also has experience

of football in Glasgow as

he was Sevilla manager

when the Spanish side faced


Celtic


in Henrik


Larsson’s

farewell game at Parkhead.

However, despite a lifetime

in the game, the Spaniard


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 21


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COUNTRY IS ONE

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AND WE MUST

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TO SCOTLAND

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is excited by Armenia’s

inaugural fixture against the

Scots and with the match

being played at Hampden.

“Really, Scotland is a history

of football,” he said. “All the

people who love this sport

know that this country is one

of the pioneers to invent and

create football. And we must be

grateful to Scotland for that.

“Of course, we are looking

forward to playing at such

a legendary stadium as

Hampden Park. Certainly,

the stadium combines many

historical values as well as a

lot of emotions, which is very

important for spectators.

“We will try to demonstrate

a strong team performance,

knowing our deficits. But we

have a great desire to play

at a such a mythical stadium

with a such an atmosphere.”

Caparros recalled taking his

Seville side to Celtic Park on 25

May, 2005 where legendary

Swedish striker Larsson bid

farewell to the Celtic fans

after his testimonial match

with the Spanish side, which

ended 1-0 to the home side

in a game played in front

of a packed stadium.

He said: “I was Sevilla’s head

coach and we were facing

Celtic and I was greatly

impressed with the atmosphere

dominating at the stadium.

It was a nice experience. I

noticed that all the spectators

were in the team’s shirt.

“And in this regard I can

recall one story: after that

Sevilla’s management

organised our fans to come to

a game in Sevilla’s shirts.”

Just over 18 years later, Caparros

is back in Glasgow looking to

build on Armenia’s stunning

start to Group B1, which saw

them beat the Republic of

Ireland 1-0 on Saturday.

Scotland go into the game on

the back of their disappointing

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 23


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 24

2022 World Cup play-off

exit to Ukraine last week.

Hampden was packed to the

rafters with the Tartan Army in

expectation but it all fell flat in

a 3-1 defeat, leaving the Scots

having not qualified for a World

Cup since France in 1998.

However, Caparros has huge

regard for Steve Clarke and

his squad who, before the

Ukraine defeat, had gone

eight games unbeaten.

He said: “I rate this team highly

enough. The national team

of Scotland always show

strong team performance

and dedication. It’s clear

that they do good work.

“I stress they accomplish

very important work and one

should evaluate it according to

merit, regardless of the result

in the clash with Ukraine.”

Caparros guided Armenia to

top spot of their four-team

Nations League Group C2 in

2020/21, with three wins and

two draws, which meant they

were promoted to Group B.

Armenia, currently 92nd in FIFA’s

rankings, finished with 11 points,

two ahead of North Macedonia,

four ahead of Georgia and

eight ahead of Estonia.

Yet, they got off to the worst

possible start with a 2-1 defeat

away to North Macedonia.

After beating Estonia in the

Vazgen Sargsyan Republican

Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia’s

game against Georgia, which

ended in a 2-2 draw, was

moved to the Municipal Stadium

The then Athletico Bilbao boss

Joaquin Caparros at Celtic

Park in 2011 (top), Sargis

Adamyan celebrates scoring

against Georgia in 2020


in Tychy, Poland, due to the

Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Likewise, the Armenia v North

Macedonia match, originally

scheduled to be played in

Yerevan, was relocated to the

GSP Stadium in Nicosia, after

UEFA announced that they

were temporarily suspending

all UEFA matches taking place

in Armenia and Azerbaijan

until further notice due to the

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Caparros admitted the

ramifications of a successful

group campaign went

further than football.

“It was an important success

and not only for Armenia but

also for that moment,” he

said. “We recorded this result

in a difficult and complicated

situation for the country.

It was gladness for all the

Armenian people and for us.

“At the moment Armenian

football is trying to progress

and go ahead and I am talking

about the Armenian national

leagues as well. The federation,

for its part, is doing its utmost

to contribute to this process.”

Nevertheless, Caparros is

cautious when assessing the

expectations of the Armenia

supporters in this Nations

League competition.

He said: “Our goal is to go from

match to match, focusing our

attention in every next game

and at the end the result will

show what we were able to

obtain. I repeat that we must

concentrate on every next duel.

“We understand that our rivals

have much history and many

world-class footballers playing

in important European leagues.

“Our team should face every

game with the maximum

enthusiasm. Our aim is to

bring joy to our fans.”

Armenia stars Khoren

Bayramyan and

Kamo Hovhannisyan

OUR GOAL IS TO

GO FROM MATCH

TO MATCH,

FOCUSING OUR

ATTENTION IN

EVERY NEXT

GAME AND AT

THE END THE

RESULT WILL

SHOW WHAT

WE WERE ABLE

TO OBTAIN

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 25


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 26

133

ARMENIA

IN NUMBERS

92

Current FIFA

ranking

Armenia

have never

qualified

for a major

tournament

Top goalscorer

in current

squad: Tigran

8Barseghyan

Most-capped player:

Sargis Hovsepyan


Armenia’s

first

international

was 0–0

against

Moldova

7Biggest win:

Armenia 7–1

Guatemala

(2016)

1992

Most capped

player in current

squad: Kamo

Hovhannisyan

Scottish manager

Ian Porterfield

became Armenia

manager for just over

a year before he died

67

32

Biggest

All-time top

goalscorer:

Henrikh

Mkhitaryan

2006

defeat

Norway 9–0

Armenia

9(March 2022)

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 27


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 28

‘THIS IS

FOR US:

TOGETHER’

A stirring speech from a Scot still

drives tonight’s visiting team

WORDS: GRAEME McGARRY, HERALD AND TIMES

› › ›


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 29


Based on figures from April 2021-March 2022. Players must be 18+.


For most football fans around the world,

the mention of Armenia conjures up the

image of just one man, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

But as impressive as the former Manchester

United and Arsenal star’s career at

the top level has been, there is more

to Armenian football than the gifted

AS Roma playmaker, who retired from

international football earlier this year.

For Scotland, tonight’s match represents

something of a step into the unknown,

with the two nations facing off

against one another for the first time

since Armenia gained independence

from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Football Federation of Armenia

was established early the next year,

and the newly-formed national side

played their first match in October 1992,

a goalless draw against Moldova.

Steve Clarke’s men have had other

things on their mind in the run-up to

this UEFA Nations League encounter, of

course, but the Scotland manager will no

doubt have impressed upon his players

just how far this emerging nation have

come from those humble beginnings.

While Armenian greats you may not

have necessarily heard of such as Eduard

Markarov and Khoren Oganesian helped

to get the national team off the ground,

it was in fact a Scot who helped to move

them up to the next level, and led them

to some of their most famous results.

Ian Porterfield, the former Raith Rovers,

Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday

midfielder who famously scored the

winner in the 1973 FA Cup Final for

the Wearside club, took over the role

as Armenia head coach in 2006.

The former Aberdeen manager would

prove to be a huge success. Along with

English assistant manager Tom Jones,

he had identified that a mentality shift

was required if Armenia were to arrest

a period of poor form, where the sole

objective had seemed simply to be the

achievement of respectable defeats.

The shift in emphasis paid off immediately,

with Porterfield leading Armenia to shock

victories over Kazakhstan and Poland, but

it was a draw that would prove perhaps

his most famous accomplishment, as

his men managed to hold the mighty

Portugal - Cristiano Ronaldo and all

- to a 1-1 draw in August 2007.

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 31


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 32

Sadly, Porterfield was by that time gravely

ill with colon cancer and had been forced

to return to England for treatment for

several months prior to the game.

“I want to be with my team and

to try to fight against such strong

opponents despite everything,”

Porterfield said prior to the game.

He did make it, flying to Yerevan two

days before the match to lead his men

to an incredible result. Jones remembers

his stirring address on the field of play

prior to the match that became an iconic

moment in Armenian footballing history.

“It was the day before the Portugal game,

we’d just finished our training session for

the day at the stadium,” Jones said.

“All the media were there and everyone

could see that Ian was struggling. He

had a colostomy bag and god knows

what else. He could barely stand.

“Then he got everybody together in the

middle of the pitch and he said ‘link hands’.

He got everybody with hands up in the air

and he said, ‘This. This is for us. Together.’”

Sadly, Porterfield would pass away just

three weeks after the match, as his team

were preparing for a friendly against

Cyprus, which they subsequently lost 3-1.

But from their sorrow, a steely resolve

would emerge to not allow the foundations

that Porterfield had put in place to be

eroded, and to build upon them in order

to allow the Armenian team to flourish.

Jones took caretaker charge and emulated

his late boss’s pre-match on-field address

to inspire the nation ahead of their next

competitive fixture, a home game against

Serbia a month after Porterfield’s passing.

He said: “I got them all out on the pitch

before kick-off, we got together in a circle

and we raised our hands together and

we said, ‘This is for us.’ The stadium went

absolutely berserk. Everyone in that ground

was completely together, behind us and

in memory of Ian. It was incredible. We

drew 0-0 but it should have been 10-0.”

Jones was however overlooked for the top

job on a permanent basis, with the Armenian

Federation opting to place a Dane, Jan

Poulsen, in charge. His was an unremarkable

tenure though, and not until Vardan

Minasyan - a former assistant manager

- was handed the reins in 2009 that the

promise of Porterfield’s work was realised.


While Armenia have never qualified for

a major tournament, they will not come

much closer than they did for the 2012

European Championship, when they

almost defied the odds to gatecrash

the big stage for the first time.

In a qualifying group containing Russia,

Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland,

the Armenians would twice defeat the

Slovakians convincingly on their way

to scoring the most goals in the group,

and set themselves up for a final-day

shoot-out in Dublin for a play-off spot.

In a hugely controversial encounter, Ireland

would edge the Armenians 2-1, but only

after goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky was

incorrectly ordered off for handling the ball

outside of his area after half an hour. Replays

showed the ball had struck his chest.

The Football Federation of Armenia

unsuccessfully appealed to have the match

replayed, Spanish referee Eduardo Gonzalez

offered his resignation, and the Armenian

team returned home as national heroes.

Sadly, that was the high watermark for

Minasyan, and after a disappointing few

years that culminated in a last-placed

finish in their Nations League Group D

in 2019, he was relieved of his duties.

However, hope now springs eternal.

Armenia, under Spanish coach Joaquín

Caparrós, have managed to gain

promotion to Nations League Group B,

coming through a section including North

Macedonia, Georgia and Estonia.

Their bid to make the World Cup in

Qatar also got off to a hugely positive

start, defeating Liechtenstein, Iceland

and Romania to top a qualification

group - which included Germany -

for the first time in their history.

They could not maintain those levels though,

finally finishing fourth, but they showed

enough against higher-ranked opposition

to suggest they can certainly cause anyone

problems on their day - Scotland included.

The Tartan Army may be relieved

to hear though that in March,

Mkhitaryan finally called it a day at

international level at the age of 33.

But Armenia started their Nations

League campaign with victory over

Ireland and, with Porterfield’s mantra of

togetherness still ringing in their ears,

Scotland will know that their opposition

this evening cannot be taken lightly.

Top left: Armenia v Portugal in 2007. Below: Armenia played

Germany for the first time during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 33


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 34


ALLAN

CAMPBELL

It’s been a memorable season

for Luton Town midfielder

Allan Campbell.

The 23-year-old has been at the heart

of the Championship side this season

and their remarkable run to the play-off

semi-final.

One of the most capped Scotland players at

Under-21 level, Campbell has now seen his club

form and commitment to his country rewarded

with a well-earned call up from Steve Clarke to

join the A squad for a busy summer of football.

WORDS: LEWIS IRONS, SCOTTISH FA

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 35


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IT’S ALWAYS

BEEN A DREAM

OF MINE TO

REPRESENT

MY COUNTRY

AT THIS LEVEL

AND NOW I’VE

BEEN GIVEN AN

OPPORTUNITY

TO SHOW WHAT

I CAN DO IN

TRAINING...

Q

Allan, you’re in Steve

Clarke’s squad for the

first time - how does it feel?

A

It’s an amazing feeling

getting the call. It’s always

been a dream of mine to

represent my country at this

level and now I’ve been given an

opportunity to show what I can

do in training, I’m determined

to hopefully get that chance.

Q

You’re no stranger to

international football of

course and the fact you’re the

third most-capped player at

Under-21 level shows that.

How much does it mean to

you playing for your country?

A

It means everything to me. It

feels obvious to say that but

for me there aren’t many bigger

honours in football than playing

for your country. Every time I

pulled on the shirt for Scotland

at Under-21 level it was a proud

moment, but obviously now I’m

focused on getting that first cap

at senior level. Even before that

though I’m thinking about the

next session, giving my all and

soaking up as much as I can

in training because there are

so many top, top players in the

squad that I want to learn from,

but it also makes me determined

to show what I can do too.

Q

We’re heading in to the first

of three Nations League

matches tonight. How has the

camp been so far, particularly

after defeat against Ukraine?

A

There’s no denying the fact

there was deflation after the

defeat against Ukraine. I’ve only

been around the group for a few

days but no one will be surprised

to hear that everyone was

disappointed not to get the result

we wanted - that’s football. I

feel really grateful to be a part

of this squad, so many who

played a huge part in getting

to Euro 2020 and the success

they’re bringing is incredible. I

hope to continue to be a part of

it and as a team hopefully we

can bring more success. That

starts tonight against Armenia..

Q

We know just how

important the Nations

League can be, as it played

a major role in getting us

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 37


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 38

THERE’S A LOT

OF COMPETITION

IN THE SQUAD

AND A LOT OF

COMPETITION

IN CENTRAL

MIDFIELD, BUT

THAT’S A GOOD

THING FOR ME

AS A PLAYER


ack to a major tournament.

How crucial is it to get off to

a good start in this group?

A

It’s massive. Not just for the

group and for the hopes of

getting to Euro 2024, but for the

simple fact that you want to get

back to winning ways as a team

- it’s as simple as that. The team

ended 2021 with a brilliant run

of form and it sounds obvious

but winning is a habit in football.

When you go on a good run it

breeds confidence so that’s the

priority for any team, to get out

there and win the next game.

The Nations League is huge

as well, as you said. We’ve all

seen what it can lead to and

the goal will be to win matches

and progress up the leagues.

Q

It’s been a memorable

campaign for you at

Luton, stringing together a

terrific run of form to reach

the Championship’s play-offs.

How much have you enjoyed

your football this season?

A

It’s been a brilliant season

for us of course but it’s hard

to take as well when you lose in

a semi-final. I’m really enjoying

my football down in Luton and

hopefully we can build on the

momentum we put together

over the course of the season

to start the next campaign

in a strong vein of form.

Q

How have you settled to

life off the pitch as well?

It’s clear you’re someone who

puts their all in to your career

and training - you’ve been

known to have a home gym to

keep working away from the

training ground - have you got

one sorted down the road yet?

A

It’s been great, we’ve got a

good group down there and

there’s a few Scottish lads as well

that have helped me settle in.

Yes I do like working away in

the gym but I haven’t got one

in my garage like I used to have

when I was at Motherwell, but

that’s because I’m in a flat so

I’ll need to get a garage first!

Q

This will hopefully be the

first of many call-ups

for you, but at the moment

what are your aspirations

in a Scotland shirt?

A

The immediate goal is to get

a first cap of course. That’s

all I’m thinking about right now.

There’s a lot of competition in the

squad and a lot of competition

in central midfield, but that’s a

good thing for me as a player

because it’s always healthy to be

pushed on by your team-mates.

Being around the likes of

Callum McGregor and John

McGinn is brilliant for me but

obviously players in other

positions like Andy Robertson

and Craig Gordon, who have

so much experience, will help

any player and I want to soak

up as much of it as I can and

use it to grow and learn.

This experience has been

brilliant for me and I hope it’s

just the start. It’s up to me

to show that I can continue

to be a part of this squad.

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 39


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 40

THE

REWARDS

ARE CLEAR

One of Steve Clarke’s coaches

helped fire Scotland to Nations

League success four years ago

› › ›


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 41


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

STEVEN NAISMITH CONCEDES

THAT THE SCOTLAND PLAYERS

WENT INTO THE INAUGURAL

NATIONS LEAGUE CAMPAIGN

UNSURE OF ITS BENEFITS.

But the Scotland coach insists Steve Clarke’s

men are keenly aware of the importance of

the 2022/23 competition, which starts with

a Group B1 fixture against Armenia tonight.

The former Rangers, Everton and

Hearts attacker played in the Scots’ first

game in UEFA’s newest international

competition on 10 September, 2018,

and scored the second goal in a 2-0

win over Albania at Hampden Park.

After falling short in their Euro 2020

qualifying campaign, Scotland took

advantage of the safety net of the Nations

League route after topping Group C1 and

reached their first major tournament in 23

years with dramatic play-off penalty shootout

wins against Israel and then Serbia.

Naismith knows the current squad fully

understand that a successful Nations

League campaign not only brings

promotion to Group A for the 2024/25

edition, but could also provide another

pathway to Euro 2024 if required.

Looking back to the Albania game, the

35-year-old said: “The players probably

didn’t fully understand the process and

the way that the tournament works. They

are competitive games and so you want to

win them but the rewards at the end of it

were probably still unclear to a lot of us.

“In some respects it seemed too simple, you

go through this group, you do that and you

do that and you are at the Euros! What?

“So that was the first feeling and we put

in a good performance against Albania

and it turned into a comfortable night.

“The group are now more aware, they

understand how good the Nations League

can be. They went through the process

and got their rewards at the end of it so

they can judge how valuable it can be.

“We have to put in a performance against

Amenia and use the disappointment of

last week but also use the motivation

of the 2020 Euro campaign.”

By referring to last week, Naismith, of

course, is noting Scotland’s stinging

disappointment of falling short in their bid

to reach this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

A 3-1 defeat by Ukraine in the play-off

semi-final at Hampden Park - their first loss

in nine games - means the Tartan Army

still look back to France 1998 for the last

appearance on the biggest stage in football.

Naismith is confident that the players

are ready to start afresh after “taking


stock and taking a breath” and will be

prepared for Wednesday’s visitors before

away matches against Republic of

Ireland and Armenia, in a group that also

includes Ukraine, who lost their play-off

final to Wales in Cardiff on Sunday.

“There was frustration and disappointment

because the boys had come so far

and they had built momentum and

belief,” said the Ayrshireman.

“But nearly every player still has a couple of

tournaments within their reach and it is now

about getting the successful times back.

“This group doesn’t need a pep talk. They

haven’t needed picking up. They had a

bit of time to relax because obviously we

didn’t have the next game for a week.

We had a bit of down time and we have

used that to refocus and effectively they

are coming into this as a fresh camp.

“The manager came out in the press and

said how he has real ambitions of going

to a World Cup with his country and he

needs the players to help him do that.

“Talking to a lot of the players, they say

the feeling of getting to Euro 2020 was

just the best and getting that feeling back

has got to be the aim and drive for all the

players. And there is no better way to do

it than in these Nations League games.

“We had previously gone eight games

unbeaten. That was good. The last

campaign for the World Cup is clouded

by the disappointment but it was still

a very good campaign in terms of

the points we won in the group.

“So as much as the feeling at the moment

is disappointment, the positives from the

campaign are there for everyone to see.

“The gaffer touched on it a few times,

the group are growing. There are always

setbacks in football and it is how you deal

with them and how you can grow from them.”

Armenia, ranked 92nd in the world, got

off to a great start io their campaign

on Saturday with a stunning 1-0 home

win over Republic of Ireland, a result

that raised eyebrows around Europe.

Coach Joaquin Caparros was delighted

with the victory and said: “I have to praise

my players because it’s a very good result

for our team. We worked really hard and

earned our luck with the goal. It’s one of the

greatest victories of the Armenian football

team because Ireland is a very good team.’’

Naismith believes the result will have

everyone in the Scotland camp on their toes.

He said: “You saw the Republic of Ireland

game and the result and that shows you that

because we are in a higher level of group

the competition is going to be tougher.

“There will be a lot of people going to the game

just expecting Scotland to win but Armenia

are in this group for a reason and they showed

in their first game that they are a team that

is organised and understand what to do.

They will not be taken lightly, that’s for sure.

“We will be ready. The boys aren’t going away

from this camp on the disappointment of the

Ukraine game, they have the chance to go

away on the positive of three Nations League

games and what results we can get from them.”

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 43


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 44

A NATIONS

LEAGUE AGAIN

Scotland know all about the

rewards this tournament

can offer

Scotland turn their attention to their Nations

League campaign tonight with an opening Group

B1 game against Armenia at Hampden Park.

It is a landmark occasion as the two countries have

never met on the football pitch before.

There follows a trip to Dublin to play Republic of

Ireland on 11 June before an away game against

Armenia on 14 June.

Ukraine, who Scotland faced in the 2022 World

Cup play-off semi-final at Hampden Park earlier

this month, are the fourth team in a section which

promises to be tough for Steve Clarke’s men.


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 45


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So what is the Nations League?

UEFA introduced the Nations League

tournament in 2018, in part to reduce the

number of friendlies. In a bid to ensure the

competition would be taken seriously, places

at the 2020 European Championship finals

were also up for grabs.

The Nations League is a tournament

in itself. The four group winners of

League A qualify for the Nations

League Finals in June 2023. Portugal

clinched the first title on home turf

in 2019 with a 1-0 win over the

Netherlands and France beat

Spain in the 2021 final.

In its original format, Europe’s

55 member nations were split

into four leagues - A, B, C

and D - based on co-efficient

points. Each league was sub-divided into

four groups, with the section winners each

clinching promotion to the league above.

Teams who did well in the Nations League

and did not qualify automatically for Euro

2020 were given a second chance through

a set of play-offs.

Which is why it has been good for Scotland.

Alex McLeish led the Scots to top spot in their

first group ahead of Israel and Albania with

a thrilling 3-2 Hampden win over the Middle

East country in November 2018 clinching

promotion to League B, as well as the fallback

option of a play-off place.

After an unsuccessful Euro 2020 qualification

campaign, Scotland were drawn to play Israel

again in the play-off semi-final at Hampden.

The pandemic forced a delay and ensured the

game was played at an empty stadium but

Scotland emerged victorious in their firstever

penalty shoot-out. The second

penalty shoot-out came in the

play-off final away to Serbia

the following month and took

the jubilant Scots to their first

major tournament since 1998.

That is why the Nations

League is so important for

Scotland.

In the 2020/21 Nations League

campaign, Clarke’s side finished

second to Czech Republic in a group

that included Israel and Slovakia

but, due to different qualification

criteria, there was no safety net

in terms of a potential play-off

for the 2022 Qatar World

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 47


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Cup. Scotland needed to get there through the

normal World Cup qualification process. The

Scots finished second to runaway winners

Denmark and that was enough to get them a

play-off spot against Ukraine.

So, to the 2022/23 Nations League. Scotland,

as second seeds, were drawn against

Ukraine, Republic of Ireland and Armenia in

Group B1.

The Scots obviously have recent experience

of Ukraine, while Scotland and Republic of

Ireland are evenly-matched in the record

books with four wins apiece and three draws.

The last time the two sides met was in the

Euro 2016 qualifiers when Shaun Maloney’s

strike gave Scotland a 1-0 win at Celtic Park

before they played out a 1-1 draw in Dublin.

Scotland have never played Armenia but

will get the chance home and away within a

week.

Winning their section while aspiring to get

into the top level is motivation enough for

the Scots but the 2022/23 Nations League

competition also provides teams another

chance to qualify for UEFA Euro 2024

in Germany, which makes every game

important.

After the draw was made in Nyon in

December last year, Clarke said: “When

you’re in a draw with teams of the same

level you’re going to expect three difficult

opponents. That’s what we got.

“It’s a good draw. The games against the

Republic of Ireland will always be good for

the supporters and hopefully we can make

them good on the pitch for both sets of fans.

Obviously we have Ukraine in the World Cup

play-offs. We will know them well by the end

of the Nations League.

Armenia is a new one, Scotland haven’t

played them before so a first for Scotland and

a first for Armenia. They are a relatively new

nation and have had a couple of good results.

They beat Romania and Iceland, so they are a

decent team.

“So, three good opponents and something to

look forward to in the summer.”

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 49


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 50

MOMENT

IN TIME…

SCOTLAND 1

CZECH REPUBLIC 0

NATIONS LEAGUE

14 OCTOBER 2020

A BEST RUN OF RESULTS IN 32 YEARS

CAME WITH SCOTLAND’S LAST

NATIONS LEAGUE VICTORY OVER

CZECH REPUBLIC IN OCTOBER 2020.

Steve Clarke’s side went an impressive

eight games unbeaten after Ryan Fraser’s

early goal at Hampden Park secured a

hard-fought win to leave the Scots four

points clear at the top of Group B.

Lyndon Dykes gave his marker the slip to play

in Fraser on six minutes and his composed

finish past Tomas Vaclik brought about his

second international goal. Fraser - directly

involved in six goals in his previous eight

starts for his country - threatened twice

more before the break and substitute Oli

McBurnie rattled the crossbar late on, but

it was a resolute defensive display which

eventually earned the points for the hosts.

Matej Vydra missed two glaring opportunities

in each half, John McGinn made a goalsaving

intervention and Tomas Soucek

scooped over from close range as

Scotland battened down the hatches to

register a third consecutive clean-sheet

for the first time since October 2017.


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 51


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 52

FINISHING

SCHOOL FOR

MANAGERS

The latest batch of Pro Licence students

will graduate tonight

Some familiar faces such as Russell

Martin, Maurice Ross, Peter Lovenkrands

and John Rankin are among the coaches

who graduate tonight from the Scottish

FA’s UEFA Pro Licence course.

Greig Paterson, Head of Coach Education &

Development at Scottish football’s governing

body, believes the course is gaining in kudos

with each intake and there is a growing

body of evidence to back up that assertion.

To date, the Scottish FA have delivered

13 UEFA Pro Licence courses and have

had 217 graduates. Demand has never

been greater for places on a course where

people such as Jose Mourinho, Andre

Villas-Boas and David Moyes, among other

top names in the football world, regularly

impart their knowledge and wisdom.

Yet, perhaps surprisingly, the Pro Licence

course, despite being the final rung on

the coaching certificates ladder and

something of a finishing school, is not so

much concerned about the complexities

or otherwise of modern-day tactics, but

the age-old issue of managing people.

And that can come as a surprise to some.

Paterson said: “Kevin Thomson, who is on

the current course and not the one which will

Maurice Ross

graduate, told me that he was blown away

by the way everybody talks about how to

deal with people, how to manage people and

how to get the most from leadership skills.

“Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas-Boas, David

Moyes, and the late Walter Smith, who would

have presented on this course, all these guys

come in and talk about how to lead people

and how to get the most from people.

“They don’t talk about playing through

the thirds, or playing with inverted

wingers and all that kind of stuff.


Peter Lovenkrands

“If you were chatting to Walter, for example,

the conversation would be about how he

manages that nine-in-a-row Rangers team

and he would have talked about leading

people, personal relationships. It is about

people and how you get on with people.”

The Scottish FA’s coaching courses

have long been respected throughout

the football world since Andy Roxburgh

became the first director of coaching at the

Scottish FA in the mid-1970s, before he

eventually became national team boss.

There is a structure in the courses in that

they must align to the UEFA coaching

convention for all coaching licences.

Tonight’s graduates, like everyone

else, were affected by the Covid-19

pandemic which meant more time was

required to complete the coursework.

Paterson said: “The Pro Licence is the

highest level of qualification you can

receive from UEFA. It is coveted but even

more coveted because UEFA restrict

the amount of courses each national

association can deliver to one every two

years for the maximum of 20 participants.

“Competition for places is high. A

thorough recruitment process goes

on to get the numbers down to 20

from around 75-80 applicants.

“It is mainly theoretical although we

do some work on the pitch. They do

their coaching practice on the pitch

probably on the UEFA A Licence.

“In the Pro Licence you look more at

leadership, as I mentioned, but also how

to deal with the board, the media, fans,

managing up, managing down and everything

else that goes on in the football world.

“We replicate media scenarios, boardroom

scenarios and top coaches like Davie

Moyes will give them scenarios and

provide feedback based on reality.

“The intake who graduate tonight

began their work in January 2019 and

were due to finish in December 2020

but Covid kicked in, in March 2020, and

it took us a bit of time to finish off.

“We had the coaches in Bologna for

the European Under-21 Championship

in the summer of 2019 so we had

some great experiences.

“We transitioned to online learning and got

good speakers during that time such as Jose

Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas, which was

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 53


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TONIGHT’S

GRADUATES

Peter Lovenkrands

Barry Nicholson

Dan Harris

John Rankin

Maurice Ross

Russell Martin

Pauline MacDonald

Scott Calderwood

John Henry

Paul Sheerin

Laurie Ellis

Barry Nicholson

Jon Daly

Mark Spalding

Brian Mclaughlin

Liam Fox

Frazer Robertson

Jonaton Johansson

Paul McDonald

Danny Invincibile

(In addition, Arnar

Gretarson and Dean

Martin will graduate

after the Scottish FA

were given permission

by UEFA to take them

on from the Icelandic

FA, which were not fully

recognised to deliver the

Pro Licence at the time.)

just fantastic. Jose is not a

graduate from Scotland. He

did his B Licence here while

Andre Villas-Boas came

on the C Licence course

when he was 17 and they

are big supporters of ours

and they recommend a lot

of Portuguese to come to

Scotland, providing letters

of support. People want

to attain the best that

they can and rightly so.

“With so many bosses

having been through the

system, what we are

seeing now is assistants,

first-team coaches,

heads of youth, heads of

academies, and we get a

lot of external applicants.”

In the pipeline to graduate

next are more familiar

names such as Thomson,

who recently stood down

as Kelty Hearts boss,

former Hibernian manager

Shaun Maloney and former

Russell Martin (top) and

John Rankin (below)

Celtic and Republic of

Ireland defender Darren

O’Dea, who is the boss

of Celtic Under-18s.

Paterson said: “We will

graduate the previous

course, finish off the current

course and then set about

advertising for the next

one to start this year. The

course is well established.

There is always a demand.”

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 55


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 56

A BUMP IN

THE ROAD

Scotland are looking to show

that they are still moving

forward despite World Cup

disappointment

Steve Clarke stood firm behind his Scotland squad

following their disappointing 3-1 defeat to Ukraine

which ended 2022 World Cup qualification hopes.

On an emotionally-charged night at Hampden Park

last Wednesday, where worldwide attention was

on the play-off semi-final due to Russia’s invasion

of their neighbours in February, the Scots came

up short against an accomplished visiting side.

Clarke said: “What we shouldn’t forget is

the progress that we have made over the

last three years, we came into the game

eight games unbeaten but it was Ukraine’s

night so congratulations to Ukraine.”

Scotland’s 39-year-old goalkeeper,

Craig Gordon, was at his best again

as Oleksandr Petrakov’s slick-moving

side dominated the first half.

The Hearts skipper, who had played in

the 3-1 win over Ukraine at Hampden

Park in 2007, had to stretch to tip Viktor

Tsygankov’s first-time drive from 16 yards

over the bar. His save on 17 minutes

from Andriy Yarmolenko was even

more impressive, clutching the ball at

the second attempt a yard from the

line after blocking the attacker’s first

attempt from point-blank range.


Then Gordon thwarted Roman

Yaremchuk inside the box after

Ukraine had again found a way

through the home defence.

However, the former Celtic and

Sunderland ‘keeper was finally

beaten in the 33rd minute by a lob

from Ukraine skipper Yarmolenko

following a long ball over the top.

It was an even steeper uphill

battle for the home side after

Yaremchuk increased that lead

with a header from close range

just three minutes after the break.

The Scots rallied midway through the

second half and John McGinn missed

a good chance with a header, before

fellow midfielder Callum McGregor

pulled a goal back in the 79th minute

to give hope to the Tartan Army.

However, the equaliser would not

come and Ukraine substitute Artem

Dovbyk broke clear of the Scotland

defence to drive in a third with the

last kick of the ball to hand Scotland

their first defeat in nine games.

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 57


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Coincidentally, Dovbyk’s first international

goal had come at Hampden in Euro 2020

where his header against Sweden late

in extra-time took Ukraine into a first

quarter-final, where they lost to England.

Clarke’s side also qualified for Euro 2020

but Scotland have not reached a World

Cup since France 1998. The national team

boss remains positive and maintained his

squad was in a much better place than it

was when he took over in May 2019.

The former Kilmarnock and West Brom

manager said: “I have had some low

moments. When I first came into the job there

were some very low moments. We have

left those days behind, I think, I really do.

“We have improved a lot. I am sad for the

players because we wanted to go to a

World Cup together. We can’t do that.

“But we can’t feel too sorry for ourselves.

We are a work in progress, we want to get

better and hopefully they don’t make me

out to be a liar and do qualify for another

tournament, which I am sure they will.

“I am convinced and that is why it is

important that we don’t forget how far we

have come over the last three years. It is

a group that has developed together.

“We have to qualify for Euro 2024 and

beyond that, by the time we get to the

World Cup in 2026 this group will have more

caps, more experience and should be better

and that’s what we should aim to be.’’

The former Scotland defender was

magnanimous in defeat, giving

credit to Ukraine whose preparations

had been less than perfect.

He said: “The best team won the game. It was

disappointing. But sometimes the opposition

play better and this was the case on the night.

“I knew they would be well prepared and they

were well prepared, they are a good team.

We didn’t pass the ball well enough in the

first half and that is also credit to Ukraine.

The first half, we didn’t play as we can play,

sometimes that happens in football.”

After the disappointment of failing

to get to Qatar, Gordon also turned

his attention to Armenia.

He said: “Just concentrate on the next game.

That’s how we have done it so far to get

to this point and we need to go back to

that. We need to start the Nations League

and try to get a good start in that.”

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 59


ON A RECCE

WITH REEKY

Steve McCorquodale recounts a previous trip to

Armenia on Scotland duty

For many at Hampden Park tonight, myself

included, it will be our first chance to see

Armenia as this match will be the first

competitive game at this level between the

two sides.

At the same time, my wife June and I are

putting the finishing touches to our plans for

the trip to Yerevan for the return match that

takes place six days later.

It will be our first visit to Yerevan, the capital.

Indeed, for most heading out to the Caucasus

region, it will be their first trip to the country.

However, for us this will actually be our

second visit to Armenia whilst away with the

Scotland national team.

Back in September 2015, Scotland were

scheduled to play Georgia in Tbilisi as part of

the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Sadly, we all know

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 61


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 62

how that one turned out, but that’s another

story!

One of our band had organised a minibus

trip the day before the match in Tbilisi. The

affectionately-named ‘Reeky Tours’ had

planned for us to cross the border between

Georgia and Armenia and visit Akhtala in the

north of the country.

Lunch was organised, a traditional Armenian

feast, and we would also be taking in a

UNESCO World Heritage site at Haghpat

Monastery in the mountains.

It is one of the great benefits of travelling

to see Scotland play abroad that you will

visit some remarkable places that might

not otherwise get your attention. The

mountainous region in the north of Armenia

is one such place. Not only were some of the

views stunning but the hospitality from our

hosts was warm and welcoming too.

As the minibus crossed the border, the quality

of the roads deteriorated and there was a

good deal more poverty to behold, including

the odd derelict vehicle by the side of the

road.


As with many former Soviet nations, the

architecture was functional rather than

beautiful but that cannot be said of Haghpat

Monastery (pictured bottom right). Built in

the 10th century, it was a picturesque place

of quiet calm and serenity in the highlands of

northern Armenia.

A highlight of the visit for some of us was the

challenge of the wishing wall (pictured right).

This involved walking along the bottom edge

of the wall that formed one end of one of the

churches. The wall is mere inches wide and

our guide informed us that if we made a wish

and were then able to travel from one end

to the other without falling, the wish would

come true. Although several of our group

tried, no one succeeded in going the distance.

My wish was to beat Georgia the following

day… if only I could have made it the whole

way, our qualifying campaign would have

turned out to be so different!

June actually made the furthest distance in

our group and when I asked her what she had

wished for, it turned out that it was exactly

the same as me. So close, yet so far.

I met June for the first time on one of

Scotland’s sojourns into Dublin for the Carling

Nations Cup in 2011. It was actually during

Scotland’s first trip to Serbia in 2013 that we

decided to take our blossoming relationship a

bit more seriously.

Serbia was another of those great trips to see

Scotland play abroad. Prior to leaving the UK,

we had been warned that Serbians would

be unfriendly and their fans threatening with

more than just a hint of hooliganism. We set

off with more than a little trepidation.

It was a great surprise to find our hosts were

anything but threatening. On the train ride

(another great staple of a trip away with

Scotland) from Budapest to Novi Sad, we

discovered that the Serbians liked to party.

Armed with a fair few carry outs, we boarded

the train and proceeded to share out the drink

among our fellow travellers, much to their

amazement. Alcohol - one of the great icebreakers

in foreign countries when dressed

in a kilt. We arrived in Novi Sad, more than a

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 63


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little inebriated, and that included many of the

passengers.

Among them was a new-found friend of

the Tartan Army, a member of the Serbian

military. He liked his vodka neat, I needed

cola with mine, which he viewed with deep

suspicion.

Disembarking from the train, we were met

with a wall of riot police. By this point we had

learned Serbian for drunken bum and were

chanting it as we walked down the platform.

The smiles on the faces of the police told us

that they knew we were there for fun… and

the three points.

We achieved the first objective, just not the

second. A bit of a recurring theme developing

here.

June and I celebrate our third wedding

anniversary at the end of this month. First,

there is the small matter of Armenia home

and away, as well as a quick trip to Dublin for

the game against Ireland.

Having briefly tasted Armenian hospitality

in 2015, I am very much looking forward to

renewing our acquaintance… and getting the

points.

Who knows? Reeky Tours might come out of

retirement for this one and organise another

memorable trip where we can once again

sample the many delights that Armenia has

to offer.

HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022

SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 65


HAMPDEN PARK / WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2022 SCOTLAND v ARMENIA / 66

SCOTLAND

MANAGER:

Steve Clarke

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

Zander Clark

St Johnstone

Craig Gordon

Heart of Midlothian

Liam Kelly

Motherwell

David Marshall

Queens Park Rangers

Liam Cooper

Leeds United

Grant Hanley

Norwich City

Jack Hendry

Club Brugge KV

Aaron Hickey

Bologna

Scott McKenna

Nottingham Forrest

Stephen O’Donnell

Motherwell

Nathan Patterson

Everton

Anthony Ralston

Celtic

Andy Robertson

Liverpool

John Souttar

Rangers

Greg Taylor

Celtic

Stuart Armstrong

Southampton

Lewis Ferguson

Aberdeen

Billy Gilmour

Chelsea

Allan Campbell

Luton Town

John McGinn

Aston Villa

Callum McGregor

Celtic

Scott McTominay

Manchester United

David Turnbull

Celtic

Che Adams

Southampton

Jacob Brown

Stoke City

Ryan Christie

Bournemouth

Ross Stewart

Sunderland

ARMENIA

MANAGER:

Joaquín Caparrós

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

David Yurchenko

Pyunik

Arman Hovhannisyan

Pyunik

Varazdat Haroyan

Cadiz

Artak Grigoryan

Alashkert

Khoren Bayramyan

Rostov

Eduard Spertsyan

Krasnodar

Tigran Barseghyan

Slovan Bratislava

Kamo Hovhannisyan

Astana

Hrayr Mkoyan

Ararat Yerevan

Hovhannes

Hambartsumyan

Anorthosis Famagusta

Vahan Bichakhchyan

Pogoń Szczecin

Henri Avagyan

Noravank

Arsen Beglaryan

Urartu

Taron Voskanyan

Alashkert

Wbeymar Angulo

Ararat-Armenia

Edgar Babayan

Vejle

Hovhannes Harutyunyan

Ararat-Armenia

Jordy Monroy

Noah

Solomon Udo

Ararat-Armenia

Artur Serobyan

BKMA Yerevan

Artak Dashyan

Pyunik

Styopa Mkrtchyan

BKMA Yerevan

Sargis Adamyan

Club Brugge

Stanislav Buchnev

Pyunik

Zhirayr Margaryan

Urartu

Edgar Malakyan

Ararat Yerevan

Rudik Mkrtchyan

Ararat Yerevan


C

M

Y

M

Y

Y

Y

K

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