Stark: Under-21s are vital

16 November 2010 09:00

Billy Stark has highlighted the importance of the Scotland Under-21 side to the future of the national team.

Recent under-21 stars David Goodwillie, Danny Wilson and Barry Bannan were all promoted when Scotland boss Craig Levein announced his initial squad for the friendly against the Faroe Islands at Pittodrie on Tuesday night with Steven Saunders called in on Monday afternoon as the number of withdrawals through injury increased.

Stark, whose new-look under-21 side will take on Northern Ireland in a challenge match at Firhill on Wednesday night, said: "Circumstances, certainly in Steven Saunders' case, have prevailed to give him an opportunity but Bannan, Goodwillie and Wilson were picked in the original squad, which is great."

He added: "That is an indication that Craig feels there are young boys who are coming through who can play or supplement his squad and that's what we're aiming for.

"That's the purpose of the under-21s.

"In order to produce players who can do well at international level, having a reasonably successful time at under-21 level helps them as they have been used to winning the majority of games.

"If they can go to the full squad then it's a good feeling.

"The under-21s are not as important as the full team but we want to keep trying to promote Scotland at every level and we're competing and punching above our weight consistently.

"We're not trying to set ourselves up as the saviours of Scottish football.

"But if we can get a consistency and the players can see there's a chance of progress, we can get to major finals and show we're not a bad nation."

Source: PA

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