The Scotland Men’s National Team will be based at Middlesbrough FC’s training complex in North-East England for the duration of UEFA EURO 2020.
Scotland will play Netherlands in Portugal and travel to Luxembourg on 2 June and 6 June respectively to fulfil their two UEFA friendly fixture obligations. The squad will then stay on Teesside throughout the competition, with Rockliffe Park confirmed as the squad’s designated basecamp.
The base will allow ease of travelling to both Hampden Park for the Group D matches against the Czech Republic (Monday, 14 June, 2pm) and Croatia (Tuesday, 22 June, 8pm), and against England at Wembley Stadium (Friday, 18 June, 8pm).
Oriam, the National Performance Centre for Sport in Edinburgh, was selected as designated base camp by Czech Republic prior to Scotland’s qualification via the play-off. Scotland Head Coach Steve Clarke believes the facilities at Middlesbrough’s training ground and adjacent Rockliffe Hall, the team hotel, will optimise the nation’s chances of success at the first major tournament for 23 years.
“The most important aspect for me is that we give the players the best possible conditions to perform at EURO 2020: that includes the best possible training facilities available and making sure that travel plans are as efficient as they can be for the matches.
“Rockliffe Park enables us to achieve all of that while also allowing the players to focus completely on doing the best they can without any distractions.
“Playing Netherlands and Luxembourg beforehand allows us to prepare with two different styles of opposition.”
To ensure the best possible preparation, the Head Coach will also take Scotland to La Finca, Spain, from 27 May to 6 June, which will also incorporate the fixtures in Faro, Portugal, and Luxembourg City.
“For the players, this will have been one of the most intense seasons in their careers,” said Clarke. “Matches have been played behind closed doors and an already congested calendar has meant many – not least those whose clubs have enjoyed prolonged spells in European competition – will have played three games a week over many months.
“When the domestic season ends there will be a mental and physical deficit to overcome in a short period of time and that’s why La Finca will be so important, in part due to the unpredictability of the weather in Scotland but also the close proximity of La Finca to the two matches we are obliged to play.”