Vauxhall Under-19 International Challenge Match
Scotland v Netherlands
Monday, 10th September 2012, kick-off 7.30pm
The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Cash gate: Adults £5, kids go FREE*
Scottish FA Performance Director Mark Wotte believes tonight’s under-19 match against the Netherlands at The Falkirk Stadium will be ideal preparation for the upcoming UEFA European Championship qualifying round in October.
Wotte will take charge of the team tonight and said the quality of the opposition will provide an opportunity for the Scotland players to see how they are developing at international level.
“The game will be a reality check,” said the former Southampton manager. “ By this I mean we have started a philosophy almost one year ago across all youth teams.
“We are implementing a commitment to 4-3-3 with passing from the back.
“These players have been working with us now for almost a year and have experience of first team football at their clubs.
“Now they will come up against top class opposition with seven players who won the UEFA Under-17 European Championships.
“The players may be of a high standard in the Scottish footballing context.
“Now they will be able to see if they are good in an international context.”
Since Wotte’s arrival in Scotland in June 2011 to implement a performance strategy in the country’s youth system, high-calibre opposition has been booked to test Scottish players at the highest level possible.
“I’d rather we have best v best than play less talented teams and win 4-0,” said Wotte.
“Players develop much more in this environment.
“For me, tonight, it will be interesting to see who is coping well with this level, who can adapt, who can step up.”
Assessing the reason why the Dutch youth system regularly produces winning teams, Wotte said: “This is a country which 12 years ago started a programme, like the Belgians, like the Germans, like the Spanish.
"They are top of Europe at the moment with their youth teams – this is the product of a 12 year process.”
The Scottish FA has recently invested £15m on seven regional performance schools where talented players will receive specialised coaching each day.
Wotte hopes to see players from these schools filter into the national youth team squads.
“It is early days to draw conclusions,” Wotte said. “We have seen the capability of the young players who can play in a 4-3-3 formation with wingers, but I’m confident that we have started a new way of thinking and it is a matter of time.
“In four or five years’ time, we will have players from performance schools playing in the squads.
“The schools will increase the quality, I believe, by at least 20% each year.”
* Notes on kids go free offer:
- Free child entry applies to children aged under 16
- As per standard stadium safety regulations, every four children must be accompanied by a paying adult (adult ticket price £5)
- Offer is subject to availability