Billy Stark eyes winning start for Scotland U21s

Scotland U21 skipper Paul Hanlon
Hanlon is the most experienced member of the squad with 13 caps

Scotland Under-21 manager Billy Stark is seeking a winning start to the Euro Championship qualifying campaign against Bulgaria on 5 September.

"Bulgaria are a strong footballing nation and have got a history of producing really good players - we're expecting that," said Stark.

"They will be dangerous opponents and we'll have to play to a really good standard to win the game.

"It's a tough opening fixture but we're at home which makes it better for us."

Stark has named a 21-man squad for the match at St Mirren Park, the majority of whom were involved in the 3-0 friendly win over Norway earlier this month.

Hibernian duo Paul Hanlon and David Wotherspoon are the most experienced players, with 20 caps between them.

Stark is targeting early points in a group that also includes Holland, Austria and Luxembourg.

He said: "History tells you that you need 17 points to get into the play-offs - you need five wins minimum, with two draws and one defeat, or six wins and two losses.

"There's not much margin for error there.

"You come together to play an international game, so there is a real focus on that - the only thought is to try to win that game.

"If you do that then you're starting to build that momentum and hopefully getting in and about the top of the group."

Scotland U21 squad: Adam (Rangers), Archer (Tottenham), Ridgers (Hearts, on loan to East Fife); Booth (Hibernian), Cole (Rangers), Hanlon (Hibernian), Jack (Aberdeen), Perry (Rangers), Toshney (Celtic); Allan (Dundee Utd), Armstrong (Dundee Utd), Cairney (Hull), Kelly (Kilmarnock), Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday), Pawlett (Aberdeen), Wotherspoon (Hibernian), Wylde (Rangers); Griffiths (Wolves), MacDonald (Burnley), Rhodes (Huddersfield), Russell (Dundee United).

Top Stories