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ScotlandU21s vs Northern Ireland

Official matchday programme for the Scotland U21 national team Scotland vs N. Ireland | International Friendly Sunday 25th September, 2022 | The SMiSA Stadium, Paisley

Official matchday programme for the Scotland U21 national team
Scotland vs N. Ireland | International Friendly
Sunday 25th September, 2022 | The SMiSA Stadium, Paisley

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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 Group, Angus

Macgregor

Managing Editors:

Angus Macgregor

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...

03 / HEAD COACH’S

WELCOME

Scot Gemmill looks ahead to

the start of a new cycle for the

Under-21s, with today’s friendly

with Northern Ireland continuing

the preparations.

06 / RORY WILSON

Scottish FA JD Performance

School graduate Rory Wilson

reflects on his surprise first

Under-21 call up.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee:

Matthew MacDermid (SCO)​

Assistant referee 1:

David Dunne (SCO)​

Assistant referee 2:

Drew Kirkland (SCO)​

4th official:

Ross Hardie (SCO)

10 / INTRODUCING...

We take a look at the dozen

new faces in the fresh, new-look

squad

14 / KIDS ZONE

Test your knowledge.

16 / TONIGHT’S TEAMS

THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 3


THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 4

HEAD COACH’S

WELCOME

Good afternoon and welcome to

the SMiSA Stadium for the second

of our two preparation matches

against Northern Ireland.

This match marks a really exciting

time for us as we start a new

cycle for the Under-21s. It’s a big

responsibility for me and my staff as

we have the chance to work with a

group made up of mostly new players

and give them that opportunity

to maximise their potential.

It’s the nature of the business that all of

a sudden within 18 months the players

are too old for the age group - it’s

incredible how fast it goes actually.

The time the players are with us may be

relatively small but I believe it’s a really

important part of their development.

We constantly talk about it but the most

important thing for us is getting the

balance right between trying to help the

players develop as much as they can

and push towards the full squad, but

at the same time, we want to try to be

as competitive as we can be and to be

competitive we have to be organised.

For the players who are just beginning

their journey with us this week, they only

have to look at those involved with the

senior team to see that there is a clear

pathway from the Under-21s into Steve

Clarke’s squad – and that must give

them significant motivation to use this

platform to push themselves forward.

However, for all the pride we take in

seeing the likes of Scott McKenna, Billy

Gilmour and Nathan Patterson excelling

in the senior team, we also reflect on

the positive results we have had against

top European teams in recent years and

we want more of that with this group.

We are fortunate to have these matches

against Northern Ireland as preparation

for the competitive games next year,

and particularly for the new players, it’s

a chance for them to see how we work

and what’s expected of them tactically.

It’s also a big thing for these players

coming to play for their country as

well so we have to ensure that the

experience is good for them by getting

everything right on and off the pitch.

This has been an important week

for us as a squad as we get to know

the new players and give them an

opportunity to confirm their talent.

We think they are talented, we think

they have got big potential and

this is their platform to show us.

I’m hugely looking forward to

working with this group over the

next few years as they continue their

development with the national team.


THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 5


THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022 SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 6

RORY

› › ›

WILSON

Q

Rory, firstly congratulations on your

maiden Under-21 call up. How have you

found your first week, particularly coming in

as the youngest player in the squad?

It’s been good. All the boys have been

A brilliant with me so it’s been quite easy to

settle in. I don’t know a lot of the boys apart

from Ben Doak so it’s been good to see new

faces and make some new friends. The more

experienced guys have been great, you’re

learning wee things off them every day. It’s

been a big jump in the training but it’s been a

good standard and it’s brilliant to train at that

level every day.

How did it feel when you first heard

Q the news that you were named in the

Under-21 squad?

It was just a bit of a shock when the call

A up came to be honest – I didn’t expect it.

It told my dad and my mum and they were

delighted. It was a proud moment for me and

my family. I was out in Spain with the Under-

18s when I heard and I couldn’t believe it. I

was buzzing and so was Brian McLaughlin

my Under-18s head coach. My family will be

watching on Sunday and they’ll be proud if I

play a part for sure.

Given your age it’s obviously not going

Q to be easy stepping up, but do you feel it

shows the belief the staff have in the ability

of you and Ben Doak?

It’s good from the gaffer (Scot Gemmill) to

A see he has trust in two young boys and

he’s been brilliant so far with me, speaking to

me lots. I’ve played with Ben for a year or two

now so we’ve got a good relationship so it

helps having him here.


› › ›

THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 7


THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022 SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 8


It must have been an thrilling end

Q to the season for you last term –

winning the Scottish FA Youth Cup with

Rangers and then representing your

country in the UEFA Under-17 European

Championship in Israel within the matter

of a few weeks?

It was an exciting time and scoring in

A the Youth Cup final was massive for

me but I just try to take it all in my stride.

Israel was brilliant, it was a really good

experience. Obviously we didn’t get the

results we wanted but the experience of

being in the finals with all the different

teams was incredible.

You’ve recently moved down south

Q to play for Aston Villa. That’s a

significant move and it cannot have

been easy to adapt – how have you

found it?

It’s challenging, obviously you feel a

A bit homesick at times but after the first

couple of weeks you settle in and I can’t

speak highly enough about all the boys.

I live in digs with Ewan Simpson so it’s

good to have another Scottish boy and

Kerr Smith is at Villa as well so he’s been

really good with me. I’ve been with the

Under-18s mostly but I’ve trained with

the Under-23s and got a game with the

Under-21s which was brilliant. The gaffer

(Steven Gerrard) has been great too, just

asking me how I’ve settled in and it’s good

he takes an interest.

You are one of a number of graduates

Q from a Scottish FA JD Performance

School who are in the Under-21s squad.

How much do you believe that education

at Grange Academy has benefitted you

in your career so far?

The school was unbelievable for my

A development and the coaches helped

me so much. Playing so much football

can only have been a benefit and I was

fortunate enough to be asked back to

speak to the new pupils at their induction

at Hampden last month which was a

crazy experience!

THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 9


THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022 SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 10

INTRODUCING…

With this double header against

Northern Ireland representing

the start of a new cycle, Scot

Gemmill has opted to give no

fewer than a dozen players

their first taste of international

football at Under-21 level.

With only players born in 2002

or later now eligible for the

next European Championship

qualifying campaign which

begins next year, we take you

through the new faces in this

latest group of young Scots

aiming for qualification.

A regular in Norwich’s Premier

League 2 side last season,

Flynn Clarke started this

season on loan at Walsall

before recently being recalled

by the Canaries, who sit

second in the Championship.

The Peterborough-born

attacking midfielder was

previously called up by

Scotland Under-19s in 2020.

FLYNN CLARKE

TOMMY CONWAY

Another joining up from a

Championship club is striker

Tommy Conway who has started

the season in blistering form

for Bristol City. The 20-yearold

already has 7 goals in the

fledging 2022-23 campaign and

he is rewarded with a first call-up

with Scotland – whom he can

represent through a grandparent.

While Conway is appearing in his

first camp with Scotland, brothers

Matthew and Michael Craig

have progressed all the way

through the national team age

groups since the Under-16s. The

identical twins – who both play

in midfield – make the step up

from the Under-19s, having been

involved in Billy Stark’s squad

that competed in an Under-19


MATTHEW CRAIG

MICHAEL CRAIG AND CHRIS MOCHRIE

Championship in Hungary

earlier in the year. After coming

through the ranks at Tottenham

Hotspur together, the brothers

were both named on the bench

in a Europa Conference League

qualifier last season. Matthew

remains with Spurs, while

Michael moved onto Reading

in the summer and made his

first-team debut earlier this year.

Also part of the Under-19s group

in Hungary was Adam Devine,

who has enjoyed a whirlwind few

months – making his Rangers

debut against Dundee United

last season and grabbing his first

start for the Ibrox club against

Queen of the South this term.

Aged just 16, promising

youngster Ben Doak has

been handed his first taste of

Under-21 football this week after

impressing for Brian McLaughlin’s

Under-17s who qualified for

the European Championships in

Israel earlier this year. The Dalryborn

teenager made headlines in

January as he replaced Anthony

Ralston to make his Celtic

bow against Dundee United,

despite having only turned 16

just over a month earlier. The

forward has since moved south

to Liverpool and he raised eye

brows with a superb solo goal

against Napoli in the UEFA Youth

League earlier this month.

Jay Hogarth looks set to compete

with Cieran Slicker and Sam

Long for the goalkeeper spot,

as he follows in the footsteps of

THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 11


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ADAM DEVINE

CONNOR MCAVOY

his brother Nicky who was also

called up by the Under-21s. The

Rangers youngster is currently

on-loan at Alloa Athletic, where

he has been an ever-present

between the sticks this season.

After testing himself against

Aleksandar Mitrovic in training,

Fulham central-defender Connor

McAvoy is well prepared for

his first Under-21s call up – an

achievement which has delighted

his Glasgow-born father.

Two players who are both

enjoying productive loan spells

are Cole McKinnon and Chris

Mochrie - at Partick Thistle and

Dunfermline Athletic respectively

– and the pair will be aiming to

carry this form as they make the

step up to international level.

While Hearts’ start to the season

has been affected by a series of

defensive injuries, one beneficiary

has undoubtedly been 19-yearold

Lewis Neilson, who joins

the squad for the first time. The

young centre-back has been

given his chance and grasped

it, putting in some impressive

performances in the league and

excelling in a historic away win

in Riga in the Europa League.

COLE MCKINNON

Like Ben Doak, 16-year-old

Rory Wilson has also been

rewarded with a call up

after catching the eye for the

Under-17s and the Aston Villa

striker, who has an eye for

goal, is unlikely to be phased

by the step up in age group.

THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022

SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 13


THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022 SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 14

KIDS

ZONE

Get your brain in

gear at half-time

with this test of

your Scotland

knowledge!

WORD SEARCH

Can you find the following words

hidden in this word search…

E B H V Y N A T R A T H U O N

G T U A L L I M M E G I I F C

W J C P I D D B W T J W F C C

C F Z L W O L N P I A O O A J

F H W T S A F L E B Y P W T O

W V O C T K S V J I O G P H E

H H T H Z S E A G U R C V I E

C S X S R W C T W I E F V S Q

E N O W K O S V G X Z Y A T A

A L Q B L R Z W Y O A Z C L D

S M H Q N V I I N W D D B E Y

P A I S L E Y N N J X N K G H

G D L M L Z D O R V J P Z A S

A B A G X K C X M V A X R W O

D M H C F R S D T R L A K N O

Paisley

Conway

Doak

Thistle

Belfast

Friendly

Tartan

Gemmill

A

C

B

SPOT THE BALL

Which is the correct

ball - A, B or C?

QUIZ TIME

1. What is the capital city of

Northern Ireland?

2. Which two teams did

Scotland Under-21s draw

with in June?

3. In what year do the next

European Under-21

Championship Finals take

place?

4. Who is the youngest player

in this Scotland Under-21

squad?

5. Which Scottish Premiership

club does Connor Smith

play for?

6. How many players are in

the Under-21 squad for the

first time?

7. Which player plays for a

team in Italy?

Answers: Spot the Ball: B. Quiz Time: 1. Belfast 2. Belgium and Denmark 3. 2023 4. Rory Wilson 5. Heart of Midlothian 6. 127. Josh Doig


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THE SMISA STADIUM, PAISLEY / SUNDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2022 SCOTLAND v NORTHERN IRELAND / 16

SCOTLAND

HEAD COACH:

Scot Gemmill

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

Kieron Bowie

Northampton Town (on loan

from Fulham)

Flynn Clarke

Norwich City

Tommy Conway

Bristol City

Matthew Craig

Tottenham Hotspur

Michael Craig

Reading

Lucas De Bolle

Hamilton Academical (on

loan from Newcastle United)

Adam Devine

Rangers

Josh Doig

Hellas Veronas

Ben Doak

Liverpool

Jay Hogarth

Alloa Athletic (on loan from

Rangers)

Leon King

Rangers

Sam Long

Boston United (on loan from

Lincoln City)

Connor McAvoy

Fulham

Cole McKinnon

Partick Thistle (on loan from

Rangers)

Chris Mochrie*

Dunfermline Athletic (on loan

from Dundee United)

Adam Montgomery

St Johnstone (on loan from

Celtic)

Josh Mulligan

Dundee

Lewis Neilson*

Heart of Midlothian

Cieran Slicker

Rochdale (on loan from

Manchester City)

Connor Smith*

Heart of Midlothian

Rory Wilson*

Aston Villa

* Denotes Scottish FA JD

Performance School graduate

NORTHERN IRELAND

HEAD COACH:

John Schofield

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

Charlie Allen

Leeds United

Dylan Berry

Norwich City

Caolan Boyd-Munce

Middlesbrough

Dylan Boyle

Fleetwood Town

Terry Devlin

Glentoran

Aaron Donnelly

Nottingham Forest

Trai Hume

Sunderland

Henry Jeffcott

Arsenal

Carl Johnston

Fleetwood Town

Matty Lusty

Larne

Lewis Mackinnon

Rangers

Alfie McCalmont

Leeds United

Charlie McCann

Rangers

Ross McCausland

Rangers

Sam McClelland

Barrow, on loan from Chelsea

Dane McCullough

Burnley

Chris McKee

Linfield

Dermot Mee

Altrincham, on loan from Manchester United

Isaac Price

Everton

Cameron Stewart

Ipswich Town

Dale Taylor

Nottingham Forest

Euan Williams

Charlton Athletic

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