Steve Clarke and his Scotland squad will be based in Middlesbrough for the duration of Euro 2020, the Scottish FA has confirmed.
The national team squad will train in Spain and play friendlies against Netherlands in Portugal and away to Luxembourg before settling at their training base in the north of England.
Being based at Rockliffe Park will allow the team to use Middlesbrough’s facilities and travel with ease to Hampden for the matches against Czech Republic and Croatia, as well as to Wembley for the clash with England.
Clarke and his players normally train at Oriam, the National Performance Centre for Sport in Edinburgh, but the facility had already been booked by Czech Republic before Scotland booked their place at the finals by beating Serbia in the play-off.
The national team boss believes the set-up will give his team the best chance of making the most of their appearance at the finals.
He said: “The most important aspect for me is that we give the players the best possible conditions to perform at EURO 2020: that includes the best possible training facilities available and making sure that travel plans are as efficient as they can be for the matches.
“Rockliffe Park enables us to achieve all of that while also allowing the players to focus completely on doing the best they can without any distractions.
“Playing Netherlands and Luxembourg beforehand allows us to prepare with two different styles of opposition.”
Clarke is finalising his plans for Scotland’s first appearance at a major finals since 1998 and, after a season like no other, he says that travelling to Spain prior to the Euros will play an important part in helping players recover from their club season before taking on their next challenge.
“For the players, this will have been one of the most intense seasons in their careers,” said Clarke. “Matches have been played behind closed doors and an already congested calendar has meant many – not least those whose clubs have enjoyed prolonged spells in European competition – will have played three games a week over many months.
“When the domestic season ends there will be a mental and physical deficit to overcome in a short period of time and that’s why La Finca will be so important, in part due to the unpredictability of the weather in Scotland but also the close proximity of La Finca to the two matches we are obliged to play.”