Scotland Under-17 coach Scot Gemmill believes his side can still qualify for the quarter-finals of this year’s UEFA European Under-17 Championship, despite their heavy defeat at the hands of France last night.

The young Scots went down 5-0 in Stara Zagora as their finals campaign got off to the worst possible start against one of the tournament favourites.

However, group rivals Greece – Scotland’s opponents on Sunday – and Russia drew 2-2 in their opening match yesterday leaving Gemmill feeling optimistic about his team’s chances of advancing.
Gemmill was coach of the under-17s last year that lost their opening match to Portugal but managed to reach the semi-finals and says there is plenty to be positive about with two group matches remaining.

He said: “We just have to forget about the result against France and focus on our next match.
“Greece and Russia are only one point ahead of us and we know what a win can do to our chances. We saw last year just how important a win is and how quickly things can change.
“We lost to Portugal in our first group game last year and went on to beat Germany and Switzerland and reached the last four.
“We also have three players returning from suspension which gives us another boost. I fully believe in the players that are here and they are desperate to show what they are capable of on Sunday.”
Gemmill handed Rangers striker Zak Rudden some game time last night making him the first Scottish FA Performance School player to play at a major tournament and hopes many more will follow in his footsteps.
“Zak is only 15 years old and can play at under-17 level for another two years but it’s a great achievement for him,” said Gemmill.
“He still has a lot to learn and will get better but he is one of the best young players in the country for his age and has earned his place in this squad.
“It’s great to see a Performance School player made the breakthrough and I hope there will be many more over the next few years. Playing against the best players at such a young age can only help him develop but it’s the same for every player in the squad.
“This tournament is the highest level of football for under-17 players and they will go back to their clubs as better players, regardless of how far we go in the competition.”