National Youth Team coach Scot Gemmill has urged his U17 squad to seize their opportunities during the UEFA Elite Round stage in Hungary.

Scotland can qualify for back-to-back UEFA European Under-17 Championship Finals for the first time if they can progress from a group containing Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic and hosts Hungary.

The Scots played at the 2014 finals in Malta last summer where they reached the semi-final stage.

He told the Scottish FA: “It doesn’t matter how good you are as a young player - and these are the best young players in the country - it’s about opportunity and taking your chances.

“The opportunity to fast-track your career and take these chances doesn’t come around very often and that’ll be stressed to the team for sure.

Under Gemmill’s guidance the Scotland U17 squad have gone from strength to strength in recent months, exemplified by the 2-1 win over Romania in February. The former Scotland international believes that form is down to the players’ willingness to work for the team:

“They are intelligent enough to play how they’ve been asked to play. Not all young players can do that or are willing to do that. They have shown the have the football intelligence to take that on board.

“In terms of commitment and application, that’s never been missing with any of the national youth teams. Having the intelligence to execute the game plan and do more than your own job. Sometimes with the way we are set-up to play the players have to do two jobs and the fact that they are willing to do that and clever enough to do that speaks a lot about them.”

Scotland’s first game of the Elite Round is against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday (kick-off 1pm GMT). Scotland beat them at the same stage last year but with a different group of players on the pitch, Gemmill is taking no chances.

“I’ve watched them a couple of times and they have a mixture of some very good technical players and some physical players. I think most of our preparation will be focused on our own game and how we’re going to play but at the same time being ready and not being taken by surprise is important.”

Keep an eye on @ScottishFA for match updates and pictures from Hungary throughout the Elite Round.