Scot Gemmill believes Steve Clarke's fringe players in their squad have a massive part to play at Euro 2020 - even if they don't play a single minute at the summer tournament.

With 26 players in the squad, there will inevitably be disappointed faces with plenty of the group struggling to get any game-time against the Czech Republic, England and Croatia.

Gemmill knows the feeling better than anyone. The Under-21s boss was part of both the Euro 96 squad in England and the World Cup group in 1998 in France and never made a single minute's appearance in either, despite going on to win 26 caps for his country.

He'll be watching Euro 2020 with pride having brought through Billy Gilmour, Nathan Patterson and David Turnbull from his last qualifying campaign with the under-21s. And he has stressed the need for even the bit-part players to be a major part of the squad's togetherness while urging them not to take playing a tournament for granted.

He said: "I think I’m right in saying it’s the third biggest sporting event in the world. It would be so easy for the top players, which they are, to almost take it for granted. I would really encourage them not to do that.

"You have to get the balance right. You don’t want the performance to suffer because you want to appreciate how big it is in terms of their own careers and their own life experiences. I really hope they enjoy it and they create some brilliant memories.


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"Guys won’t all see game-time. They have to buy into that fact they have a job to do to help the team out. That absolutely has to happen. There has to be that collective force to push everyone forwards. If there are players not doing that it does create problems and it will create problems.

"That’s the same for any team that’s at the tournament - it has to be there. The culture of the squad has to be there and from what I’ve seen it looks really exciting.

"It looks like everyone is on the same page and Steve [Clarke] and the staff have created that culture and that’s why they’re in a great position and why everyone is so excited."

Gemmill was part of the last Scotland squad to reach a major tournament 23 years ago and he believes the younger players he's worked with will sail through it.

He said: "I’ll have to admit, I took it for granted. I was very lucky at the time, I was playing at a good level. I’d been to Euro 96 so I kind of equate it to being at Nottingham Forest as a young player. I think the first year I got into the team I played in two cup finals.

"You think it just feels normal but it’s not. I would definitely encourage everyone to really create those memories and really enjoy it because it is a big time in their career - and their life.


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"The younger boys in the squad are probably in the position I’m just describing where it just feels normal. That can be a good thing too.

"It’s usually the older players who start to reflect and feel the enormity of the occasion. I don’t think the younger players will and that’s great.

"It’s to do with how Steve and his staff package it and they’ve done a fantastic job. They’re in a fantastic position and everyone is really too."