STUART FINDLAY has more cause than most to be grateful for the start of his summer holidays.
The 18-year-old has endured something of a traumatic end to the season, part of the Morton defence that shipped 10 goals to Hamilton Academical and then losing a further six in the Scotland under-21s' thumping by the Netherlands on Wednesday night. It has been something of a chastening experience for one so young.
It is to his credit, therefore, that the Celtic defender is doing his best to retain a positive outlook. He is unsure what the future may hold for him, whether it is staying at his parent club or going on loan, but he believes lessons can be learned from even the most distressing of occasions.
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No defender wants to be remembered for losing 16 goals in just two matches but Findlay believes it is all part of the learning curve. "When you go through your career, you'll suffer bad results," he said. "But it's how I recover from them that matters. I can't dwell on the 10-2 defeat or a night like Wednesday as I believe I've had a good season.
"What happens, happens. I need to learn from it and not allow it to happen again and hopefully I can become a better player for it. It's difficult but if I allow it to get to me then it will hinder me.
"Every defeat bothers me as when you play you want results. The feeling I had when we [Scotland under-21s] beat Slovakia or when we gained a point against Georgia are the feelings I want to have in football. It's been a disappointing few weeks but the season's over and I want to regroup. I'll get refreshed and try to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Findlay can at least take some consolation from the fact he will not come across too often players of the calibre of the young Dutch side who demonstrated guile, poise, strength and ability in equal measure.
A first-half hat trick from Quincy Promes - he has been linked with Manchester United - set the tone, and a further three goals followed after the break. All the Scots, who are now effectively out of the running for next summer's European Championships, could muster in reply was a late Stevie May strike. Findlay could not help but be impressed.
"The pace at which they move at is something we are just not used to," he admitted. "The number seven [Promes] was unbelievable with his speed and movement and it was something I've very rarely come up against before."
Findlay wasn't daft enough to think that one day there could be a Scots team as good as the Dutch but felt there was no reason not to aspire to be better. "If you strive to be the best you can be and improve year on year then you improve."