Former Scotland winger Neil McCann was at Stirling University to share his experiences of winning against England with young Scots who will take on the Auld Enemy at the weekend.
McCann was speaking to some of the Scotland players who will take part in the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s tri-nation home international tournament against England and Wales at Toryglen Football Centre in Glasgow on Saturday.
McCann has the distinction of playing in the last Scottish team to beat England at Wembley when he crossed for Don Hutchison’s winning goal in the Euro 2000 qualifier.
He told the young lads from Lornshill Academy in Alloa who are one of two teams representing Scotland: “It’s a great privilege and a fantastic thrill to play for Scotland at any level.
“This is the biggest game of your lives so far and it is important to take the time to enjoy the experience”
The five-aside tournament is sponsored by the Scottish Resources Group, while the Scotland team is sponsored by Thompsons solicitors. Both organisations have strong links with former mining communities that the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is committed to help.
Neil, who amassed 26 caps during his Scotland career recalled the thrill of winning against England at Wembley, in the Euro 2000 qualfier.
“The atmosphere at Wembley was just electric, especially after I sent over that cross and big Hutch headed home.
“The game against Macedonia is massive but if we can get through that and the boys go out against Holland and just have ago and play with all their aggression and skill, anything can happen. “
Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Trustee Nicky Wilson said: “We support midnight leagues in former mining areas to get young people off the street and into something worthwhile like playing football, so its great that Neil took the time to give the lads some encouragement.
“Last year the Scottish team were undefeated in the round robin matches only to lose to England in the final. This year they will undoubtedly be looking to reverse that result, especially on home soil.”
All the midnight league footballers taking part in Saturday’s tournament will have the chance to see for themselves how Scotland fare against Macedonia as guests of the Scottish FA.