Harrison Ashby called up for Scotland U19s qualifiers

Harrison Ashby against West Brom U23s

Academy starlet Harrison Ashby has been included in the Scotland U19s squad for the upcoming 2020 UEFA U19 European Championship Qualification competition.

The no-nonsense defender, who has regularly featured at right-back and centre-back for both the U23 and U18 sides this season, could be involved against Belarus, Andorra and Germany early next month.

17-year-old Ashby only recently made his debut for Scotland U19s when he came off the bench with 25 minutes remaining in a friendly against Japan three weeks ago. 

He subsequently made his first start in a repeat fixture with the same opponents a few days later, evidently making an impression on coach Billy Stark's thinking,

Ashby, then rounded off a momentous week with his competitive West Ham U23s debut against Valencia 'B' just a day after returning from International Duty.

All three fixtures will take place within the space of six days, between 9 and 15 October, at Scottish grounds.

Scotland will first take on Belarus at Morton FC’s Cappielow Park on 9 October, before hosting Andorra at Dumbarton FC’s C&G Systems Stadium on 12 October. Their final Group 3 fixture is against Germany at Partick Thistle’s Firhill Stadium on 15 October.

The road ahead to the final tournament is long for Ashby and Scotland U19s: qualification for next year’s event is limited to just eight teams, and is split into two rounds.

In the Qualifying Round, the top two in each of the 13 groups, plus the third-placed side with the best record against the leading pair, advance. 

In the Elite Round, which will take place in spring 2020, the 28 remaining sides (which includes Portugal, who received a bye to this round) will contest seven groups of four, with group winners qualifying for the final tournament.

Should Scotland qualify, they could look forward to participating in the main event, scheduled to run from 19 July to 1 August 2020 in Northern Ireland.

Training wear