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Usually I want to take action about things but wondered what people might think of this. I can appreciate youth football might sometimes not bring debate. I was doing some research. 10 years ago in 2006, we reached the European Championship finals at Under 19's level. This was our best performance since 1982. We lost to Spain 2-1. En route to this final in qualifying we drew with France 1-1 and Portugal 2-2. Three of those countries were finalists in this year's European Championships. This was the team that started in the final: McNeil, Cave-Brown, Wallace, Cuthbert, Grant, Ferry, Conroy (Gilmour 78), Cameron (Dorrans 74) Adams, Elliot, McGlinchey. Out of the entire squad, only Wallace and Dorrans have become Scotland players but in the squad. Two players missing from the final in Snodgrass and S.Fletcher are first picks. Garry Kenneth won 2 caps and Fox and Reynolds have been called into squads 6 of the players in the squad were part of a Celtic U19 team that won the Youth Cup and League. These were Grant, Conroy, McGlinchey, Cuthbert, Ferry and Fox. Only McGlinchey became a full international but for New Zealand! Shortly after this tournament, with the next Under 19 age group, we beat Bosnia 6-0 and Germany 1-0 who had Mezut Ozil in their team. A Germany who were already building their youth development structure that included Ozil in their team. What this goes to show is the big problem happens between 19-22. Undoubtedly some players will become late bloomers and people have to be dedicated. However this is the pattern that I feel needs to be identified if we are to have any chances of going further forward, My thinking believes it is because we focus on competitive attributes and winning matches than developing individual technique by the time it comes to adulthood we don't have as much of a technique as other nations. The problem I feel extends to other sports but mainly in society and in education because this age range (19-22) is also when players stop playing football and even sport because education ends and thus opportunities to play don't come forward. Thus also because the elite were selected and lesser players ignored, those players tend to drift out of the game and the ones who were selected therefore are not selected for the national team due to the way the manager wants to play (a long ball back to the wall job) and the way Scottish Football is structured. I feel taking aspects from other athletes are one way forward.
Link BBC Great stuff, hopefully get an easier pot for the next draw should we keep improving! in other home nations England - 14th Wales - 22nd NI - 42nd Other nations of interest ROI - 62nd Poland - 35th Germany - 1st Georgia - 138th Gibraltar - No Ranking