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Scots set up camp in search for talent

Mark Wotte, the Scottish Football Association's performance director, has been in England to have a look at almost 70 youth players who are eligible to play for Scotland.

The national coaches at youth level - Billy Stark, Ricky Sbragia, Scot Gemmill, goalkeeping coach Scott Thomson and chief scout Mike Oliver - had the chance to study the ability of those who play in club football outside Scotland, such as Real Madrid's Jack Harper and potential Barclay's Premier League players of the future aged between 14 and 20.

Wotte said the four-day training camp in the Midlands had been a resounding success. "We decided rather than fly the players up to Scotland to train, we would set up a camp in England. It makes more sense for the coaches to go to them.

"There are 24 academies in England and we have to tap into them, because not every player will get the chance to play for England.

"We have taken steps to source players with a Scottish heritage and the response we've had has been excellent.

"Of course, there is a risk involved that you want a player to pledge himself to Scotland and they do so but decide to play for England at the last minute. It happened to us with Southampton's Sam Gallagher; that was disappointing and frustrating. But, then, we have had the positive in someone such as Ikechi Anya at Watford, who has made an impact for the full national team.

"We have to broaden our horizons and accept that not every player will be born in Scotland and spend all of his young life there. We must not restrict ourselves.

"If you look at the Germany team that won the World Cup, not every player was born in Germany. France hasn't had success because every player was born in France. It's the same with Holland."

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