Football: Brown set to replace old guard with youth

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The Independent Online
CRAIG BROWN, the Scotland coach, has pledged to undertake a large- scale clear-out of the old guard and put the emphasis on youth if his side reaches the European Championship.

The Scots are poised for a play-off place after taking four points from last week's qualifiers, and Brown is already planning ahead. He says he will discard ageing fringe players and offer youngsters the opportunity to travel alongside more experienced first-teamers.

"If we make it I will use the European Championship as an advanced academy," Brown said. "We'll go with a top-choice first 11, but the other half will be the future of Scotland. The squad for Euro 2000 will be selected with a view to the 2002 World Cup. I won't go into specific details about the players we'll leave out, but it's not hard to figure who they are."

Brown has been impressed with Under-21 internationals Mark Burchill, Paul Dalglish and Gavin Rae and also wants to offer more opportunities to the likes of Paul Ritchie, Stephen Glass and Jackie McNamara. Derek Whyte, Scot Gemmill, Ian Durrant, Colin Calderwood and perhaps Kevin Gallacher are among those unlikely to survive.

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