Scot Gemmill satisfied with young Scots as they sign off from Northern Ireland friendlies with draw in Paisley

Scot Gemmill satisfied with young Scots as they sign off from Northern Ireland friendlies with draw in Paisley
Scot Gemmill satisfied with young Scots as they sign off from Northern Ireland friendlies with draw in Paisley

SCOT GEMMILL declared himself satisfied with his new-look team after they ended double-header friendlies with Northern Ireland after a draw at Paisley.

The young Scots won 3-1 in Belfast last week, but had to settle for an entertaining draw after Norwich City's Flynn Clarke had given them an early lead.

And Gemmill was happy at the run-outs as Scotland Under 21s continue their preparation for the next European Championships campaign, which could start in March next year, with the likes of Calvin Ramsay, Connor Barron and Alex Lowry still to return after injury.

He said: "They were two really good games. It’s been good to work with the players and it’s fantastic one of them moved on to the full squad in Josh Doig so that’s very positive.

"It’s important to say there are very good players who are not with us who can come in and affect the level. But it’s also important we give chances to the players we have because you don’t know till you give them an opportunity.

"You have to take your opportunities and confirm talent so I do think when we can get everyone together we have a very exciting team, but it's vital for them to understand this is a step up and we are going to be playing some very good players whoever we are drawn against.

"Some we’ve played in the past have quickly become household names and transferred for a lot of money. So there’s no question this is the level to play at and get better and give them the chance.

"We are trying to secure games in November and the budget for those games."
Gemmill handed debuts to Rangers keeper Jay Hogarth, who is on loan at Alloa, as well as Spurs midfielder Matthew Craig, who is in the squad with his twin Michael.
Coventry City left back Josh Reid and Clarke also started for the first time. Rangers defender Leon King was named captain after the promotion of Doig into the full squad.
And it took the young Scots until just the fourth minute to take the lead after they carved open Northern Ireland in devastating fashion. Newcastle United midfielder Lucas De Bolle, who is loan at Hamilton Accies threaded a superb defence-splitting pass through to Clarke who drilled a composed finish past keeper Barry Doyle.
But it took a fine save from Hogarth to prevent the visitors levelling when King was outmuscled by Dale Taylor and the Nottingham Forest striker's shot was turned away by the keeper.
However, King wasn't to be denied and the Northern Irish equalised in the 17th minute, Rangers right back Adam Devine was beaten too easily by Linfield's former Ibrox kid Chris McKee and Taylor tucked away a composed finish.
Dundee's Josh Mulligan had a great chance to restore Scotland's lead when Bristol City striker Tommy Conway clipped a great ball into him in the box, but he didn't get enough purchase on his shot and it was straight at Doyle,
De Bolle came close to putting the Scots back in front before the break when he smacked a cutback from Reid only just wide.
And after Connor Smith had volleyed over at the back post, Hogarth denied his Ibrox team mate Ross McCausland at the other end with a fine outstretched save as the game continued to swing from end to end.
Ben Doak - who became Scotland Under 21s' youngest-ever goalscorer with a goal in Belfast just eight minutes after he came on - was given just under half an hour to impress and immediately bamboozled the Irish defence with a piece of trickery that ended with Conway denied by a point blank save from Doyle, but neither side could force a winner.