Hearts v Rangers

Youth Cup final

International youth manager Ross Mathie yesterday argued that outstanding young players are still being produced by Scotland - and Mathie, who has taken charge of Scottish national sides at under-16, under-17 and under-18 levels, pointed towards today's SFA Youth Cup final between Hearts and Rangers as evidence.

Said Mathie: ''Time and time again I have heard our standard decried as not being good and that there are no young players coming through, but here is an opportunity for fans to see for themselves that this is not the case. There is good young Scottish talent throughout the game and this is an occasion when fans get the chance to support it, and I hope they will turn out in numbers at Hampden Park.

''Down south, the FA youth cup final is an important event and last week there were 15,500 people at Highbury to see it.

''When our competition began some years ago as the BP Youth cup, there were only a few clubs involved, but now it is a very important competition and plays a big part in youth development.

''The cup final is an end of season reward for all the hard work that is put in at that level, and what a thrill it will be for the lads to play at Hampden Park.

''Some may never make it to first-team football but for others it will be a major step along the way and they may very well come back to Hampden in another kind of cup final or on international duty.

''This is all part of their education, and that is what coaches such as John McGlynn, at Hearts, and John Brown, at Rangers, are striving for.''

Among the players to watch out for are Rangers' highly rated trio Steven Hughes, Maurice Ross and goalkeeper Mark Brown, who have all been part of the first team scene this season.

Tynecastle fans, who got a boost this week when their side won the Premier League under-21 title, will look to captain Darren Goldie to lead them to another major award with a side that includes youth internationalists Steve Simmons and Ryan Davidson.

nThe dispute between Morton and their players took an amazing twist last night - and could be settled next week after a meeting between owner Hugh Scott and Players Union secretary Tony Higgins.

Afterwards, Higgins stated: ''I will be seeing the players on Monday, when I will put before them certain proposals - and if they accept them then there can be a resolution.

''With this in mind, I am holding up the appeal document which we were sending to the Scottish League asking the management committee to intervene and the league will not be involved at this stage.''

The club had been rocked this week with the announcement that the contracts of manager Ian McCall and his assistant, Brian Rice, were not being renewed and that players who were out of contract had not received an offer for next season.

nIT was announced yesterday that Dick Campbell, sacked as manager of Dunfermline after relegation from the Premier League and a start to their first division campaign that failed to satisfy the high expectations of the Fifers' board, had been appointed manager of third division Brechin City.

Campbell was appointed as John Young's successor after a board meeting at Glebe Park. However, he will not be unveiled until a week on Monday, when the Angus club will hold a press conference.

n LIVINGSTON are lining-up bids for Hibernian duo John Hughes and Pat McGinlay, who are being freed after tomorrow's final game of the season against Hearts.

Signing Hughes and McGinlay, both former Celtic players, would be a massive boost in Livingston's bid for promotion to the top flight. They have already signed Caley Thistle's Barry Wilson and are favourites to land Falkirk's Scott Crabbe.

McGinlay has been with the Edinburgh side for six years - after re-signing from Celtic. Hughes has enjoyed four years with Hibs after he, too, was transferred from Parkhead. St Mirren and Ayr United have also been credited with an interest in Hughes.

nClyde midfielder Jamie Mitchell yesterday switched to full-time when he accepted a two- year deal to remain with the first division newcomers.

This follows their signing of goalkeepers Kevin Budinaikis, from Partick Thistle, and Bryn Halliwell, from Wimbledon, both of whom will also be full-time.

In addition, Andy McClay has signed a three-year part-time deal, and Clyde chief executive Ronnie MacDonald said: ''We are quietly going about our job of preparing the club for next season.''