Vauxhall Under-15 International Challenge Match
Scotland 2-2 Russia
Doubletree Dunblane Stadium, Stirling
Caird 61', 80'; Nikitin 25', Serchenko 53'
Mark Wotte, performance director for the Scottish FA, took charge of the under-15 team which drew 2-2 with Russia last night and said he was “very encouraged” by the qualities displayed.
Ryan Caird, of Celtic, produced two second half goals to earn a well-earned draw at the Doubletree Dunblane Stadium in Stirling.
Over 700 fans turned out to watch the new batch of Scotland players developing within the Scottish FA’s Performance Strategy.
Playing a 4-3-3 formation and encouraged to play a short passing game from the back, Wotte said it would not be easy to instil his philosophy into the squad with only one days training before the match but added: “I have been encouraged by what I saw in the match.
“We were playing against a mature, athletic Russian side which presented a test of how we could resist the demands such a team presented.
“I was pleased with how we remained committed to passing from the back.
“I think, after some positive advice at half-time, you could see the development of the players within the game.”
A last minute equaliser is always a crowd pleaser but Wotte emphasised the greater importance of performance at this crucial developmental stage.
“A lot of these players play for teams which regularly win easily but, for me, this is not a good way to improve” he said.
“It is always good to come back from two goals down but the most important thing is performing well when presented with difficult situations.”
And the Dutchman added he would like to see these players play within an older age-group.
He said: “I would, ideally, like to have the players play at under-17 level where they physical and mental test would be greater.
“Results are not important at this stage, developing is.”
Asked how it felt to take charge of a team for the first time within the Scottish FA, Wotte said: “I’m very happy with my role coaching the coaches and implementing the Performance Strategy.
"I believe under-15 level is of fundamental importance, it is a foundation for what we are building here and so to get up close to the lads has been a positive experience."