Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, September 22, 2018 12:35:51 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter
BREAKING NEWS:

Scotland desperate to end tournament pain

By Agency
10th-Sep-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Scotland face Albania in their first Nations League match on Monday with long-suffering fans hoping they can take the first step on the road to ending a 20-year absence from major tournaments.
The new competition is designed to replace international friendlies with more competitive matches and also provides a second route to qualification for the European Championship.
And with Glasgow's Hampden Park one of the host venues for the tournament in 2020, it gives Alex McLeish's team, thumped 4-0 by Belgium in a friendly on Friday, added incentive to qualify.
The Scots reached five successive World Cups between 1974 and 1990 thanks to top-quality players such as Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Denis Law, Billy Bremner and Archie Gemmill.
But two decades and 10 major international tournaments have passed since Scotland faced Brazil in the opening game of France 98.
A generation of Scots has been forced to look on enviously as other, smaller, nations such as Iceland, Croatia and neighbours Wales and Northern Ireland have qualified for major tournaments.
Managerial mistakes, lack of facilities, poor youth development and even genetics have been suggested as possible reasons for Scotland's qualification woes.
Former Rangers, Brighton and Manchester City forward Gordon Smith -- who was chief executive of the Scottish Football Association (SFA) from 2007 to 2010 -- says everyone from the government down should shoulder some of the blame.
"There are a lot more nations aiming to qualify now and the standard has improved greatly but I think the biggest disappointment for Scotland is looking at nations the size of Iceland qualifying," Smith told AFP.
"They put a lot of work into changing things and I would give them a lot of credit for that. They changed their game in order to make sure they were producing better players.
"Why has Iceland's football improved so much? Because they've spent a lot of money on facilities."
Smith said Scotland lacks facilities, including indoor pitches, but that the government does not see building infrastructure as their duty with all the money washing around in the game.
"But I think the government has to get involved in order to get these facilities built because they are crucial to the standards we need to reach," he said.
SFA performance director Malky Mackay, who has responsibility for Project Brave, set up to develop young players, agrees that Scotland lacks sporting facilities.
"You look at Iceland," he told BBC Scotland. "They built 10 indoor domes for them in a country that for six months of the year it was dark. All of a sudden kids were able to play all year round and their touch got better.
"Lo and behold, their under-17s and under-19s and full squad have started improving. We have got to get kids the facilities."
Smith believes Scotland are slowly starting to reap the rewards for an increasing focus on youth development.
"One of the problems we had for a number of years was this pathway to bring through young players wasn't there and we had very few players playing at the highest level," he said.
"Rangers and Celtic had a lot of foreign players in their teams and there weren't as many Scottish players at the highest level in England as there were in the past.
"But I think we are getting there. We are bringing through a lot more good young players and there's quite a few now playing down in England, which is good as the standards there are high.
"We now need to make sure that the people who are taking the professional players, when they get to that level, are coaching them in the right way and the right manner in order that we can compete."
Smith is optimistic about the future and has faith that the current crop of Scotland players can finally bring the Tartan Army's wait for a major tournament to an end.
"You've got a whole generation now of people who have never seen Scotland in a big tournament and that includes most of the players who are actually trying to qualify," the former SFA chief executive said.
"But if you look at recent history we're getting close to qualification. We're not that far away."

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Rohingya crisis: UN is helpless without active cooperation of int'l community


THE United Nations was established with a mission to stop brutality and promotion of human rights across the globe but at present is apparently helpless to stop the Myanmar military atrocity on Rohingya ethnic community. Though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the ...

Cricket »

India rout Pakistan by eight wickets in Asia Cup


AFP, Dubai :India crushed Pakistan by eight wickets in their long-awaited Asia Cup match which failed to live up to its hype in Dubai on Wednesday.Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (3-23) sent Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsing to just 162 all ...

Football »

We aim to play SAFF U-16 Women's final: Choton


Bangladesh U-18 national women's football team head coach Golam Rabanni Choton said they aim to play the final of the SAFF U-18 Women's Championship which is scheduled to be held from September 28 to October 7 in Thimpu, Bhutan.He was speaking at a pre-departure press conference on Thursday at the ...

International »

US-North Korea relations making 'tremendous progress': Trump


President Donald Trump on Wednesday said US relations with North Korea are making "tremendous progress" from the days before his presidency when the two countries appeared close to "going to war."Trump said a recent letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un confirmed the positive track, which he said has ...

City »

Newly elected executive members of Bangladesh Photo Journalists Association paid a courtesy call on Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan at his ministry on Thursday.


Entertainment »

Not always necessary to do issue-based films: Yami Gautam


Actress Yami Gautam, who stars in Batti Gul Meter Chalu, says it is neither necessary nor possible for an actor to do issue-based films all the time. Yami was interacting with the media here on Wednesday at a promotional press conference of the film that releases on Friday. She was ...

Football »

Japanese MMA star Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto dies at 41


Tributes flowed Wednesday for charismatic Japanese Mixed Martial Artist ( MMA) Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who died at age 41, three weeks after announcing a battle with cancer.Born to a family of wrestlers and martial artists, the wiry, tattoo-covered Yamamoto took on larger opponents in a wide range of MMA events, ...

Editorial »

Ecological danger for destroying forest by Rohingyas


A STUDY has revealed that 4,300 acres of hills and forests have been razed in Cox's Bazar to set up refugee camps and cooking fuel for Rohingyas who fled ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Quoting the study, news media reported that about 3,000-4,000 acres of hill land at Teknaf and Ukhia ...

International »

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too


AP,  Pyongyang :The leaders of North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements Wednesday which they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. But the premier pledge on denuclearization contained a big condition, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stating he'd permanently dismantle ...

International »

Sex with Trump 'least impressive' she's ever had: Daniels


Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have slept with Donald Trump over a decade ago, says in her upcoming tell-all book that it may have been the "least impressive sex" she'd ever had, The Guardian reported Tuesday.In her book, "Full Disclosure," Daniels also provides a graphic description of ...

Entertainment »

I`m seen as a fierce and opinionated woman post Bigg Boss: Hina Khan


Actor Hina Khan believes Bigg Boss helped her showcase her real personality, which is that of a woman who does not shy away from speaking her mind. The actor became one of the most talked about contestants on the 11th edition of the reality TV show, which has just begun ...

City »

Dhaka University teachers formed a human chain programme on the campus on Wednesday demanding release and proper treatment of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.


Editorial »

We welcome Islamabad for awarding Bangladeshi-origin refugees Pakistan`s nationality


PAKISTAN government has decided to grant nationality to all Pakistan-born refugees of Bangladeshi and Afghan origins staying there for decades. Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan on Sunday made this announcement during his maiden visit to Karachi, saying the Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees who were born in Pakistan would get National ...

Sports »

Argentina's Facundo Conte (left) and teammate Alexis Gonzalez celebrate during the Men's World Championships' volleyball match between Argentina and Slovenia, in Florence, Italy on Monday.


Football »

FIFA president Infantino has doubts about La Liga match in Miami


AFP, Barcelona :FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about La Liga's proposal to stage a fixture between Girona and Barcelona in the United States.The two clubs have each approved a request submitted to the Spanish Football Federation for the match to be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news