Over the course of this weekend and the start of next week, Brian McLaughlin will oversee his first three games as Scotland Under-17s head coach having previously been in charge of the under-16s and employed as a Performance School coach at Holyrood Secondary School.
Scotland will play in an International Tournament starting tomorrow at St. George’s Park, taking on Italy on Friday, England on Sunday followed by a Tuesday afternoon test against Turkey.
McLaughlin goes into the tournament on a high having overseen Scotland Under-16s rack up 11 goals in three games last month including a 2-0 win over England which is something he wants to see repeated.
“At Forthbank everyone was talking about how great it was to beat England. We just wanted to play our way and we’re going to do the exact same again,” he said.
“The boys will no doubt be nervous for that game but I’m confident we’ll put the ball on the ground, take them on and I’m confident we’ll perform again.”
The former Celtic striker takes over an already successful age group who have qualified for the last four European finals and Brian is looking forward to the three matches in England which will act as preparation for the European qualifying round in Estonia.
Scotland will play the hosts as well as Andorra and Denmark in October.
Before that they also have two friendlies against Wales in September.
When discussing continuing the under-17s success, McLaughlin said: “Scot Gemmill has done some magnificent work at that age group.
“Every year they qualify and the more you qualify the more pressure that brings.
“He’s left us that legacy and it’s now our aim to take it to the next level where we don’t just qualify but we reach the final stages.
“That’s what we need to start doing and that’s why we are working so hard, not just to qualify but to go beyond that and develop better professionals that will play in first teams.”
The squad features 15 Performance School participants including Billy Gilmour who has recently joined Chelsea from Rangers along with Dean Campbell who became the first player from the programme to make his competitive debut for Aberdeen, earlier this year.
Friday, 18 August: Italy v Scotland, kick-off 6pm, St George’s Park
Sunday, 20 August: England v Scotland, kick-off 3pm, St George’s Park
Tuesday, 22 August: Scotland v Turkey, kick-off 1pm, St George’s Park
Scotland Under-17 Squad
Ryan Mullen (Celtic)
Archie Mair (Aberdeen) PS
Taylor Wilson (Hamilton Academical) PS
Nathan Patterson (Rangers) PS
Chris Hamilton (Heart of Midlothian) PS
Kane O’Connor (Hibernian)
Jack Armer (Preston North End)
Kyle McLelland (Rangers) PS
Gregor Donald (St. Johnstone)
Marc Leonard (Heart of Midlothian) PS
Dean Campbell (Aberdeen) PS
Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren) PS
Billy Gilmour (Chelsea) PS
Terry Taylor (Wolverhampton Wanderers) PS
Ethan Ross (Aberdeen) PS
Jamie Semple (Motherwell) PS
Adedapo Mebude (Rangers) PS
Connor McBride (Falkirk) PS
Joshua McPake (Rangers) PS
Aaron Pressley (Aston Villa)
PS – denotes Scottish FA Performance School player