Scotland announce English base plan for Euro 2020 and Spanish pre-tournament camp

The Scottish Football Association has announced the Scotland national team will be based at Middlesbrough’s training ground for Euro 2020.

Scotland will train at Middlesbrough's Rockliffe Park.

Steve Clarke’s players will use Rockliffe Park to prepare for two matches at Hampden against Czech Republic (Monday, 14 June, 2pm) and Croatia (Tuesday, 22 June, 8pm), and a trip to Wembley to face England (Friday, 18 June, 8pm).

The SFA was forced to look outside Scotland for a suitable base camp after the Czech Republic snapped up Scotland’s national performance centre at Oriam, Edinburgh, due to qualifying directly rather than through the play-offs.

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Clarke’s men will therefore train in Teesside and stay at the adjacent Rockliffe Hall, but the manager says he is more than happy with the facilities.

“The most important aspect for me is that we give the players the best possible conditions to perform at EURO 2020: that includes the best possible training facilities available and making sure that travel plans are as efficient as they can be for the matches,” said Clarke.

“Rockliffe Park enables us to achieve all of that while also allowing the players to focus completely on doing the best they can without any distractions.”

Scotland will play two warm-up friendlies against the Netherlands and Luxembourg in June before the competitive actions begins.

Clarke has therefore decided to take his squad to a warm-weather training camp in La Finca, Spain, from May 27 to June 6, which will incorporate facing the Dutch in, Faro, Portugal on June 2 and the match in Luxembourg City on June 6. They will then head to Rockliffe Park.

“For the players, this will have been one of the most intense seasons in their careers,” added Clarke. “Matches have been played behind closed doors and an already congested calendar has meant many – not least those whose clubs have enjoyed prolonged spells in European competition – will have played three games a week over many months.

“When the domestic season ends there will be a mental and physical deficit to overcome in a short period of time and that’s why La Finca will be so important, in part due to the unpredictability of the weather in Scotland but also the close proximity of La Finca to the two matches we are obliged to play.”

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