BILLY GILMOUR has become the poster boy for Scottish football and the latest kid for whom the hopes are as high as the expectations on the international stage.

But the 19-year-old is confident Scotland has the strength and the depth across the youth setup to ensure that the future can be bright in the coming years as we look to turn the corner at European and world levels.

Gilmour has risen through the ranks during his time at Rangers and Chelsea and was tipped for a call-up to Steve Clarke’s squad as he made an immediate impression in the Premier League last term.

His focus right now is on the Under-21 fixtures with Croatia and Greece as he sets his sights on a place at the European Championships.

And, having seen at close hand the talent within Scotland’s various youth sides, he has no doubt that more players will go on to make a big breakthrough sooner rather than later.

Gilmour told the Four Lads Had A Dream Podcast: “I think the 19s and 21s squads are very strong. We had Brian McLaughlin at Under 17s to 19s, with Billy Stark as well, and they taught us not to kick the ball long, we are playing football and changing the philosophy, if you like, of the Scottish game.

“We played top teams like Spain and Germany and we won against them. We played really good football, it wasn’t just a fight.

“That is the aim we have got as a country going forward and we have got good players coming through, especially with the Performance Schools. There are seven schools where you get picked, you train during the day and I think that is helping the young boys in Scotland a lot.

“The way we are doing it just now is working, we have got the chance to qualify for the Euros and it would be great if we can.

“For the 21s, we have got great players, we are all playing good football and we have got a chance to qualify for the Euros as well.”

The challenge for the next crop of potential Scotland stars is the same today as it has been for quite some time and it remains difficult to turn dreams into a reality in the game.

Scotland has produced promising players and teams at youth level for many years, and our clubs have a host of talents on the fringes of their respective first team squads.

Gilmour has lead the way when it comes to making that transition and the midfielder is eager to impress at Chelsea once again following his international outings this month.

“That is the difficult part,” Gilmour said. “After you play 18s and 23s, you want to start playing first team football.

“For me, there was no secret, it was just working hard every day and when my opportunity came I knew I was ready to take it. That is the one thing I have always done.

“Of course there is that pressure when everyone expects things from you, but at the same time I am still developing, I am still young. The Scotland team just now are doing really well, there is a chance to qualify which would be really good and I hope they do go on to do it.

“I just need to keep working hard at club level and hopefully get the chance to represent my country and the national team first team.

“I want to go back after the international break to get more game time. I think I will probably go back to the 23s to get game time and fitness but when that is over I want to be back in the first team trying to get more games and more appearances.”

*The exclusive interview with Billy Gilmour is Episode 27 of the Four Lads Had A Dream Podcast. It is released on Friday and is available through iTunes, Acast, YouTube and Spotify. For more information visit or follow @4ladshadadream on Twitter.