THREE Academy Rangers players kick off their UEFA European under-17 Championships campaign today against the Faroe Islands.

Lewis Mayo, Jordan Houston and Zak Rudden are all in Croatia for the competition with today’s match kicking off at 11am.

Following today’s game, the Light Blues will then face Hungary on Saturday (kick off 3pm) at Stadium Lucko and France next Tuesday (kick off 3pm) at Stadium Velicka Gorika.

Speaking to Scottish FA website, manager Scot Gemmill said: “We’ve qualified unbeaten and conceded only one goal so we’re really confident at the moment.

“There was a lot of responsibility on our shoulders to guide the team through the qualification stage.

“It wasn’t long since we had the team together for their elite round and that has helped create a buzz around the squad.

“We’re ranked sixth in Europe at the moment and it’s up to us to ensure our performances match the ranking. 

“In the past we’ve been playing against teams who are older than us but the players feel strongly that this can be their year as they are coming up against people of the same age.”

Striker Rudden has been in fine goal scoring form for the Academy under-20 side this season scoring 18 goals, with Mayo and Houston playing in defence. The latter has featured on the bench for the first team this season against Dundee at Dens Park.

Gemmill’s side defeated Malta, Wales and reigning European champions Portugal in the qualifying round last year before recording victories over Montenegro, Serbia and Switzerland at the Paisley 2021 Stadium in March.

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