Gemmill: Great if my squad is depleted by senior call-ups
● Coach stresses priority is player development in under-21 set-up
LITHUANIA U21 V SCOTLAND U21
European U21 Championship qualifier
Vilniaus Stadium, Vilnius
Today, 4:30pm Updates BBC Radio Scotland
S cot Gemmill will gladly see his Scotland under -21 squad depleted next month if Steve Clarke comes calling.
The Scotland senior team has three home games in a week in October starting with the playoff semi-final against Israel on the 8th before Nations League matches against Slovakia and Czech Republic.
To that end, Clarke revealed he will name an expanded squad and Gemmill believes that could give extra incentive to his players in tonight’s European Championship qualifier away to Lithuania, although any promotions to the A squad could leave the under-21s short for their match against Czech Republic on 10 October.
On the possibility of players being called up by Clarke, Gemmill said: “You might follow that up by saying would that affect the under-21 squad.
“I hop e it do es. That is the objective, to help these players get that opportunity.
“If that happens, we will obviously adjust and it means younger players getting the chance to come with us.
“It should be standard procedure and it is great to see it is star ting to happen more and more.”
Gemmill stressed again that development is the primary objective of the Scotland under-21 set-up. He said: “A few people might be surprised to hear my comments, the priority has always been about the development of the players.
“We have been lucky to qualify for the finals at the younger age groups when I was working with under-17s, we qualified for four straight Europe - an finals and, of course, that is very important for the players to get that exposure and further experience.
“But at the same time it doesn’ t guarantee that they move on to the next level.
“It is about us giving that experience to the right players. We all know that not every under-21 player goes on to play for the full squad.
“So it is about us trying to zoom in on players we feel can go all the way so we are using this experience to its full potential.”
Gemmill insists a qualification spot remains up for grabs for his Scotland under-21 side.
The young Scots, set to play for the first time in ten months, have eight points from five games in Group 4 with five matches remaining.
The former Scotland midfielder said :“If you are talking about qualification, it is all to play for.
“It is really exciting to still have that achievable for the group as a big motivation.
“But, if you zoom in on the performance sin terms of developing young players, then I think there has been lots of positives too.
“Playing against different opposition, playing against top seeds, being able to show that we can be really resilient and hardtop lay against and win away from home but also playing against the lesser seeds and playing in a different manner.”
“If you are talking about qualification, it is all to play for. It is really exciting to still have that achievable for the group as a big motivation”