First posted on Facebook, July 24th, 2016

Exactly 10 years and one day ago, on June 23rd 2006 Scotland’s under 19 team reached the semi final of the European Championships by beating Turkey 3-2 and finishing their group one place behind leaders Spain and one place ahead of Portugal. So what happened in the intervening years? If our under 19s could compete with Europe’s under 19 elite how come, now that these players are allegedly in their prime, we are no longer good enough to get to the competition, never mind compete?
I have already written about the debacle of our Performance Director’s performance not being fit for purpose – but maybe he was targeting the wrong age groups. Maybe he should have been looking at developing the 19 – 25s. After all we used to be no bad from schoolboy level up to the 19s, so what happens after that? Three of the players from that semi final team now feature in the current full squad (possibly 4 now that Lee Wallace is back in the ‘big’ league), but where are the rest of them? Do they just fade away, do they peak at 19? Does the SFA lose interest and just leave them to get on with it. These questions have kept me awake every two years since 1998. Answers in the comments section below please.

1 GK Andrew McNeil Hibernian
2 DF Andrew Cave-Brown Norwich City
3 MF Lee Wallace Hearts
4 MF Charles Grant Celtic
5 DF Garry Kenneth Dundee United
6 DF Scott Cuthbert Celtic
7 MF Simon Ferry Celtic
8 FW Calum Elliot Hearts
9 FW Steven Fletcher Hibernian
10 MF Michael McGlinchey Celtic
11 FW Robert Snodgrass Livingston
12 GK Scott Fox Celtic
14 FW Graham Dorrans Livingston
15 MF Ryan Conroy Celtic
16 MF Greg Cameron Dundee United
17 MF Brian Gilmour Rangers
18 DF Mark Reynolds Motherwell
19 DF Jamie Adams Kilmarnock