UEFA Under-21 EURO 2025 Qualifier
Scotland v Kazakhstan
Thursday, 21 March 2024
SMiSA Stadium, Paisley

Scotland Men's Under-21s are back in action on Thursday night,hosting Kazakhstan at the SMiSA Stadium.

Gemmill's young Scots are currently sitting second behind Spain in Group B at the halfway point in qualification for the UEFA EURO 2025 finals.

After a narrow 1-0 defeat to Spain in Jaen, Scotland bounced back by winning back-to-back matches at Fir Park against Hungary and Malta. They then defeated Belgium 2-0 in Roeselare to record a statement win, before drawing 0-0 in Budapest against Hungary. 

In the qualification process, the nine group winners qualify automatically for next year's finals in Slovakia, with the three best runners-ups also qualifying and the other runners-up facing off in play-offs.

Following this test in Paisley, Scotland will then host Belgium and Spain and face Kazakhstan and Malta away later in the year. 

Team News

After an injury-hit camp in November, Scotland are boosted by the returns of a number of key players. Bristol City's Tommy Conway and SK Sturm Graz's Max Johnston are back, while Josh Doig is also included after being a part of Steve Clarke's A squad in November. 

Lewis Fiorini - on loan at Charlton from Manchester City - is back from a lengthy spell on the sidelines and returns to the squad as well.

Ben Doak is a notable absentee with the Liverpool youngster continuing his recovery from a knee injury suffered in December. Jeremiah Mullen, another ever-present during this campaign, also misses out after suffering an injury playing for Inverness Caledonian Thistle, on loan from Leeds United.

Since the squad was first named, Gemmill also lost Josh Mulligan, Kai Fotheringham and Ben McPherson, with the trio all suffering injuries prior to joining up.

Midfielder Cole McKinnon has been added to the squad.

Pre-match thoughts 

We caught up with the campaign's top scorer Kieron Bowie prior to the match. 

Kieron – we’re at the halfway point in qualification for the European Under-21 Championships. 10 points from five matches, you must be pleased with how the group has performed?

Definitely - there’s a lot of top teams in this group. We just need to continue to pick up as many points as we can. We’ve played Spain who are a top team and Belgium – they’re the two teams that jump out at you but to be sitting second, above Belgium, it reflects the good results we’ve had over the past few camps.

On a personal note, two goals against Hungary in the first ten minutes must have been a proud moment.

Yeah, I didn’t play in the Spain game so I naturally wasn’t too pleased but the manager has his reasons so I felt I had a point to prove that night so it was great to take my chance against Hungary. I would say that first goal is up there with the best goals I’ve scored in my career. There were a few bits of fortune with it bouncing off legs but you make your own luck so I’ll take it.

You’re on loan at Northampton Town in League One in England. How does the football in that league compare to playing at international level?

Towards the top of League One, with teams like Derby and Portsmouth, it’s very tactical and against other teams it can be a bit more direct and playing off second balls. But Scot always emphasises tournament football when we come away, all tactics, preparing for the games well and making sure that you’re hard to beat too.

It’s totally different to playing for your club when you come away. It might mean that I miss a game for Northampton but it’s good to come to a different environment with different lads. Everyone obviously prides themselves on playing for their country and everyone wants to do that to the best of their ability. At Under-21s, that’s all you can do for now and who knows what will happen in the future.

It's certainly been a productive couple of loan spells, with the promotion last season and consolidating your position in League One this season.

Northampton have done really well since I’ve been there and the manager has put great trust in me to play almost every game over both seasons. Last season was great, winning most weeks but that brings its own pressure. This year we were favourites to get relegated and we’re in and around midtable so it’s been great proving everyone wrong.

On a personal note, at the start of the season I hadn’t scored until November but I now have more goals than I got last season. I have got eight since November and I’m happy I managed to get beyond that goal drought because it was worrying me a bit. The standard is definitely a lot better and you’ve got to adapt and prove yourself.

There’s a few Scottish boys at the club, with the likes of Marc Leonard and Louis Appere. Has that helped you settle there?

Former Scotland international Colin Calderwood used to be our assistant manager and I think that’s half the reason we all ended up there! Marc Leonard is a top player. Obviously he used to play for Scotland Under-21s. He’s a laugh and it’s good to have a few Scottish lads there.

You made quite a big move at a young age, leaving Raith Rovers for your current club, Fulham. How did you find that? 

As soon as Fulham came in when I was at Raith Rovers, I knew I had to take that opportunity or it may never come again. When I first moved down it was tough as I didn’t play much for the first six months and being 17 you can get quite homesick as it’s totally different to Kirkcaldy. But after that I started scoring goals and enjoying my football. It was just a lot to get used at first.

Away from the field, you had an exciting double arrival in the summer, with your partner Brooke giving birth to twin daughters, Victoria and Florence. How much has that changed your life?

It’s been amazing. They are both sleeping really well at the moment so long may that continue. My partner Brooke is great. Honestly, I’m not sure what I would do without her. She’s unbelievable with the girls. I’m not always there with how much travel is involved in League One so she’s brilliant. It’s great to escape when you’ve had a bad result, knowing you’ve got the pair of them waiting at home.

Coming back to Scotland, obviously the Men’s A squad having the European Championships to look forward to in the summer. That must be inspiring for the Under-21 players to see them performing so well on the international stage.

Yeah, we watch the majority of the Scotland games and we’ve seen them doing so well. Of course, you dream that one day that could be me, but we’ve got our own finals to focus on trying to get to. I think we’re in a good place with both squads just now and long may it continue.

Just finally, what do you expect tonight against Kazakhstan?

They are one of those teams who will play a mid to low block and they will be hard to break down. That’s something we have to work on. We know we will get chances in the game, like we did against Malta. It was towards the end that night and it might be the same again but I’m sure we will create chances. Everyone is expecting us to win but that can make it more difficult. It will be a tight game but hopefully we can continue our strong campaign.

How to Watch

The match will be streamed live on the Scotland National Team Youtube Channel, with commentary from Luke Shanley and former Scotland Under-21 midfielder Stephen McGinn.



Tickets for the match remain available and can be purchased here or at the St Mirren FC Ticket Office. SSC Members can collect a free ticket from the Ticket Office as well.

Scotland Under-21 Squad


Vincent Angelini Brentford
Jack Newman Dundee United
Cieran Slicker Ipswich Town 


Matthew Anderson FC Admira Wacker Modling (on loan from Celtic)
Ibane Bowat TSV Hartberg (on loan from Fulham)
Adam Devine Motherwell (on loan from Rangers)
Josh Doig Sassuolo
Max Johnston* SK Sturm Graz
Liam Morrison Wigan Athletic (on loan from Bayern Munich)
Lewis Neilson*Partick Thistle (on loan from Heart of Midlothian)


Connor Barron* Aberdeen
Lyall Cameron* Dundee 
Leon King Rangers
Aidan Denholm Heart of Midlothian
Lewis Fiorini Charlton Athletic (on loan from Manchester City)
Cole McKinnon Rangers 


Kieron Bowie Northampton Town (on loan from Fulham)
Tommy Conway Bristol City 
Dire Mebude Bristol City (on loan from KVC Westerlo)
Michael Mellon Dundee (on loan from Burnley)

*Denotes Scottish FA JD Performance School graduate