Scotland national semi-professional football team
|Association||Scottish Football Association|
The Scotland national semi-professional football team was a football team that represented Scotland. The Scotland semi-professional team competed in the Four Nations Tournament and was organised by the Scottish Football Association (SFA). The team was disbanded in 2008, when the SFA board decided to stop providing the finance needed for the team to operate. At the time the team was disbanded, players in the three senior non-leagues, the East of Scotland Football League, Highland Football League and South of Scotland Football League, were eligible for selection.
The semi-pro team was first formed in the late 1970s. The first incarnation of the team was originally made of players from Scottish Football League clubs outside the Premier Division. The most recent incarnation of the team (1990s and 2000s) was made of players selected from the two of the three former senior non leagues in Scotland; the Highland League and the East of Scotland League. The third senior non league was the South of Scotland League, which had not had a select side for long time, hampering scouting and selection, which coupled with friction over travel issues effectively saw what few players of calibre they had excluded.
The semi-pro team regularly played friendlies against a Highland League Select. They also regularly played preparation games against Scottish Football League clubs prior to international tournaments in the 1980s. The team was disbanded by the Scottish FA in November 2008. The Scottish FA decided to withdraw funding for the semi-professional side in order to save money, more than £20,000 worth of funding was pulled.
Four Nations Tournament
There was no officially sanctioned competition by either UEFA or FIFA for national teams at non-league level, but Scotland competed in the annual Four Nations Semi-Pro Tournament between 1979 and 2008. The competition was abandoned from 1988 to 2001, while no competition took place in 1986. The first eight editions of the tournament (1979–1987) saw Scotland compete against England Semi-Pro, Netherlands Amateurs and Italy Serie C U-21s. The later reinstatement of the competition saw the semi-pro teams of Scotland, England, Wales and Republic of Ireland compete from 2002 to 2008. The Gibraltar national team replaced Ireland in the last edition. Scotland last hosted the Four Nations Tournament in 2007, when matches were played in Dingwall, Inverness and Brora. Scotland withdrew from the competition after 2008.
- "SFA pulls the plug on Scots semi-pro team". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Six of the best of the East in Scots squad". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 1 May 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- Scotland Semi-Pro Internationals scottishleague.net. 25-04-2009. Retrieved 20-10-2013.
- Since 2013-14 season there are only two senior non-leagues the Highland League and Lowland League (was a merger of East of Scotland and South of Scotland Leagues.)
- Garin, Erik (18 October 2012). "Four Nations Semi-professional Tournament". www.rsssf.com. RSSSF. Retrieved 19 January 2014.