Scot Gemmill has insisted Scotland made the right choice to appoint Steve Clarke as manager, after losing out to the former Kilmarnock boss when he was on the shortlist in May.

The Scotland Under 21s manager announced his squad for their Euros double-header next month against San Marino and away to Croatia, with six uncapped players in the group.

Gemmill was on a three-man shortlist for the job in May with Clarke and Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, with the ex-Rugby Park manager eventually being the SFA's choice to lead Scotland in their Euro 2020 campaign. And Gemmill, speaking for the first time about the situation, accepted there was no shame in losing out to Clarke.

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He said: "It is about what is best for the national team. 

"Steve Clarke was back-to-back manager of the year. Are we lucky to have him as a manager? Yes. Everybody is delighted that he is the Scotland manager and we are all trying to support him as much as we can.

"My job is with the Under 21s and to support the full team and help Scotland get the best results moving forward. 

"I saw Steve at the St Mirren v Aberdeen game recently and we are both busy preparing our squads. We will sit down and debrief after our games and it is fantastic for everybody that Steve is the manager.

"Steve has had an unbelievable career as a player and coach. He was a really popular choice and it was the right man in the right place at the right time. Everyone is looking forward to supporting him any way we can.

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"His record at Kilmarnock has been incredible in the last couple of seasons. He has delivered some great results. 

"He now has two massive games coming up for Scotland as I have with the Under 21s and we will both be preparing thoroughly for them.

"It's in the past now. I am focused on the job at the Scotland Under 21s. I am hugely honoured to have this post and I value it more than ever. If I was close to getting the Scotland position then hopefully that shows that I have been doing a good job."

Gemmill has included new boys Lewis Smith of Hamilton Accies, Reading's Tom McIntyre, Aberdeen winger Connon McLennan, Motherwell striker James Scott and Rangers pair, keeper Kieran Wright and Ayr United loanee Stephen Kelly in his squad. But there's no place for new Ibrox signing Jake Hastie.

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But Gemmill was quick to point out it shows the strength of his squad available to him these days. 

He said: "This is the national Under 21s so it should be hard to get in. It’s great for us some not there could have been in the squad. It shows the strength in depth. It’s not always been like that.

"Jake did well in March and has transferred club, but there are others too. Iain Wilson isn’t in the squad. In 18 months he’s played France, Brazil and Holland and beaten all three and he’s not there. There’s Barry Maguire too. Moving forward, will they be involved? Absolutely."

And Gemmill backed Glenn Middleton to impress after his loan move from Rangers to Hibs, after the winger phoned him for advice ahead of the switch. He said: "It suits everybody – his parent club, his loan club, us and the player. It’s win, win.

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"If you’d said to Glenn at the start of last season and painted a picture of what he did – debut, playing as much as he did, scoring the goals he did, working with the staff at Rangers – I think he’d have been happy with that.

"I spoke to Glenn about what happens next. He’s been given a great opportunity. 

I’ve known Glenn for a few years and I’m sure he’ll be more focused than ever. I did speak to him about it. It’s great Glenn trusted my opinion in that regard. I can remember going to see him as an Under 15s at Norwich driving all that way."

Robby McCrorie (Queen of the South, on loan from Rangers), Ross Doohan (Ayr United, on loan from Celtic), Kieran Wright (Rangers).
Daniel Harvie (Ayr Utd), Tom McIntyre (Reading), Ross McCrorie (Portsmouth, on loan from Rangers), Ryan Porteous (Hibs), George Johnston (Feyenoord), Patrick Reading (Middlesbrough).
Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen), Allan Campbell (Motherwell), Kyle Magennis (St Mirren), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Lewis Smith (Hamilton Accies), Jordan Holsgrove (Reading), Kyle McAllister (St Mirren), Stephen Kelly (Ayr United, on loan from Rangers).
Glenn Middleton (Hibs, on loan from Rangers), Michael Johnston (Celtic), Connor McLennan (Aberdeen), Fraser Hornby (Everton), James Scott (Motherwell).