Ben Doak, Josh Doig and Max Johnston in Scotland Under-21 squad
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Ben Doak, Josh Doig and Max Johnston in Scotland Under-21 squad

Nov 7, 2023
Ben Doak of Liverpool
Ben Doak has returned to action for Liverpool after recovering from the injury that kept him out of the Under-21 match against Malta

Captain Josh Doig is back in the Scotland Under-21 squad for the Euro 2025 qualifiers in Belgium and Hungary.

The Hellas Verona defender returns after injury while striker Tommy Conway of Bristol City, who has previously captained the Under-21s, is also back.

Lyall Cameron and Dire Mebude, who both had to pull out of the previous squad through injury, are in the 23.

Liverpool winger Ben Doak has returned to fitness while there is a first call-up for ex-Rangers striker Robbie Ure.

Ure, 19, has impressed for RSCA Futures in Belgium and has been selected for the first time by Under-21 coach Scot Gemmill.

Sturm Graz right-back Max Johnston, who was called into the senior squad for their friendly game against France last month, returns to the Under-21s.

Calvin Ramsay and Lewis Fiorini remain absent through injury, while Josh Mulligan also sits out this camp after having surgery.

Gemmill believes the senior team qualifying for next summer’s European Championship in such style can be inspiration for his side to follow suit.

“For me the main objective of the Under-21 team is the development of the young players but we have to be competitive and of course the players want to experience what the full squad have experienced,” the former Scotland midfielder said.

“It is unbelievable Scotland qualified with two games left to play and of course that will act as a motivation for our players and we can use that as we prepare to play.”

Gemmill also believes the senior team’s participation in Euro 2024 is motivation for his players given they are an injury to an established name away from being on Steve Clarke’s radar as a possible replacement.

“They need to get the balance right between recognising that they still are young players with a lot to prove but at the same time the reality is they are very close and doors can open through injury for senior players,” he added.

“They need to have the confidence, the presence and the belief to know how close they are and to try as hard as they can to make it happen.

“I think it is a very interesting position for them to be in now that the full squad have confirmed their qualification.”

Scotland, who are third in Group B, travel to Roeselare to face Belgium on 17 November then head to Budapest to prepare for their match four days later at Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium.

The Under-21s defeated Hungary 3-1 during the last international camp before a late Kieron Bowie strike from a tight angle ensured a 2-1 victory against Malta.

Bowie is Scotland’s top scorer in the qualifiers so far with three goals from two games.

Scotland Under-21 squad

Matthew Anderson (Admira Wacker Modling), Connor Barron (Aberdeen), Ibane Bowat (TSV Hartberg, on loan from Fulham), Kieron Bowie (Northampton Town, on loan from Fulham), Lyall Cameron (Dundee), Tommy Conway (Bristol City), Ben Doak (Liverpool), Josh Doig (Hellas Verona), Ryan Duncan (Aberdeen), Max Johnston (Sturm Graz), Leon King (Rangers), Emilio Lawrence (Manchester City), Alex Lowry (Hearts, on loan from Rangers), Ben McPherson (Queen’s Park, on from from Celtic), Dire Mebude (Westerlo), Michael Mellon (Morecambe, on loan from Burnley), Liam Morrison (Wigan Athletic, on loan from Bayern Munich), Jeremiah Mullen (Leeds United), Lewis Neilson (Partick Thistle, on loan from Hearts), Jack Newman (Dundee United), Cieran Slicker (Ipswich Town), Jude Smith (Newcastle United), Robbie Ure (RSCA Futures).

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