Scot Gemmill: Senior squad Euros call can be 'huge carrot' for Under-21s

The Scotland U21s boss says his side have extra motivation.

Scot Gemmill: Senior squad Euros call-up can be ‘huge carrot’ for Scotland Under-21s SNS Group

Scot Gemmill believes the prospect of making it into the senior Scotland squad for Germany can be a “huge carrot” for his Under-21s ahead of their important Euro 2025 qualifier against Kazakhstan on Thursday.

While Steve Clarke’s side are looking forward to the European Championship this summer, Scotland U21s are in second place behind Spain in Group B at the midway point in qualification for the Euros in Slovakia.

Clarke named a predictable squad for upcoming friendlies against Netherlands and Northern Ireland.

However, youngsters Leon King, Lewis Fiorini and Tommy Conway were invited to a senior training camp last summer, Max Johnston was added to the full Scotland squad for the first time in October 2023, following withdrawals by Aaron Hickey and Andy Robertson, while Josh Doig has been involved in a couple of parties.

“I don’t feel the need to push it to them personally, they are all intelligent players, they know how close they are and they know how closely Steve watches our games, ” said U21 boss Gemmill, who revealed that Rangers’ Cole McKinnon has been brought into the squad after Josh Mulligan, Ben McPherson and Kai Fotheringham called off.

“So of course it is a huge carrot right there in front of them and they have to use these games as all the games, anything can happen in that regard.

“It is for the players to show (quality) on a consistent basis, it is fair to say they have all shown it.

“It is the challenge for all young players, you have to do it consistently between now and the end of the season and I would say that applies to the full squad as well, I have heard Steve say that himself.”

On 21-year-old Bristol City forward Conway and 20-year-old Sturm Graz defender Johnston in particular, Gemmill said: “They are good examples of players who are physically good, technically good but they have got very good attitudes, they are very switched on young players.

“They know exactly what they have to do and know they need to do it consistently. I give them a lot of credit for putting themselves in the position where they are.

“For me it is attitude, you don’t get to play for Scotland at any level, whether it is Under-16s, Under-19s, Under-21s, full squad if you don’t have the technical level, the real difference is the attitude, the mentality and being able to influence games and finding a way to stop good players influencing games as well.

“You have to have everything. The level is going up and up.”

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