Updated Tuesday, 10th April 2007
Tommy Wilson and Archie Gemmill will be in charge when Scotland's Under 20s head back to Canada in June for the World Cup. We spoke to Tommy about the trip to Canada in March.
The group games will be played at Swangaard which was the original venue for Scotland's first game in March. However, the game had to be moved to the artificial pitch at Royal Athletic Park as Swangaard was waterlogged. We asked the national coach how much he and co-coach Archie Gemmill learned about the group venue and the players and Wilson said: "Only a little as we were able to visit the ground and get a feel for it .....Overall the trip was a great success for a million reasons!! We gave 8 players their first cap at this level and all performed well , furthermore they were able to gel as a group, these experiences are so important."
Wilson was pleased that so many ex-pats were right behind the side at both games. However, the SFA and coaches had to deal with the criticism from managers and the like at home regarding the value of a long trip in the middle of a set of key games for players who are regular first team players for their clubs. Wilson understood the managers' position but said: "I was widely quoted in the Scottish media that the criticism was fair, however what other option did we have if we are serious about the World Cup ?"
So overall the squad and management felt that the trip was useful and laid the foundations for their involvement in the World Cup. There may be a special request from the Scottish camp for the same band which played the national anthems before the second game, at Percy Perry Park, to provide motivation in July. The rendition of Flower of Scotland was barely recognisable and Wilson said: "I was saying to the staff how much I liked the Canadian anthem until I realised it was ours!! I thought though that we played very well after it so maybe we should use it for motivation!!"