MILNGAVIE’S Greg Docherty insists the experience of playing at the home of premiership giants Newcastle United will stay with him for the rest of his life - despite Scotland Under-18s defeat in the Lloyds TSB Cup to England.
Greg (15) was part of an 18-strong squad assembled by manager Stewart Taylor for their final fixture at the Sports Direct Arena (formerly known as St James’ Park) in the Boys’ Centenary Shield recently.
Unfortunately two second-half goals gave the Auld Enemy a 2-0 victory.
The result leaves Scotland resigned to a fourth-place finish but the Douglas Academy pupil is desperate to continue his development.
The Hamilton Accies starlet, watched on by former Scotland international Gordon Strachan, was unable to help his team replicate the 4-0 win over Northern Ireland in the opening fixture but believes the experience will stand him in good stead.
He said: “The experience was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for anything more, and to play on television is great.
“I’ll probably be back next year because I’m one of the youngest in the group. I still have a lot to learn and nights like that help so much.
“The atmosphere was brilliant but the result wasn’t the best, I think we could have got something out of the game, we’re all pretty gutted.
“I came on and did alright I think, I did my job, but I couldn’t make a big impact which was frustrating.”
Ex-Celtic manager Strachan, Lloyds TSB Scotland’s Scottish Schools’ Football ambassador, gave a pre-match team talk to Taylor’s young charges and was pleased with what he saw.
Strachan (55), who made 50 appearances for Scotland as a player, was full of praise for Docherty and co and believes they have a bright future.
He said: “I thought it was a smashing game, I really enjoyed it because there was an honesty about it, I thought Scotland played well and they didn’t deserve to lose.
“Stewart Taylor will be pleased, they put in a great performance but unfortunately they were punished for two mistakes.
“Every game is a development for these young lads, you get knockbacks every so often and they will bounce back hopefully.”
Paul Devine, manager at the Milngavie branch of Lloyds TSB Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Greg who was part of the Scottish schools U18 International squad that put on a great show against England in the Centenary Shield at the Sports Direct Arena in Newcastle.”
Previously Greg played for national U18 squad against Wales at Forfar Athletic’s Station Park but found themselves up against a talented side who went on to secure a 2-1 victory.
Lloyds TSB Scotland is a partner of the Scottish Schools’ FA, and has supported the Scotland U18 schoolboys squad for their 2012 Centenary Shield Campaign.
For more information visit scottishfa.co.uk/ssfa