The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the four third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 30 qualifiers plus the top two seeds – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.
Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Scotland are in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals for the first time and coach Ross Mathie is delighted.
Mathie's team are acquiring a growing reputation and they proved that in Elite round Group 5 in Northern Ireland. Having beaten the hosts 3-1, they defeated another of their British rivals, Wales, 1-0 with an Archie Campbell goal and although they only needed a point against Slovenia to top the group, John Fleck struck five minutes from time to claim all three. Now they can look ahead to the finals in Antalya, Turkey between 4-16 May with the draw on 3 April.
"It has been a great tournament for us and we are all so delighted that we have reached the Under-17 finals," Mathie said. "The players have worked so hard and been a credit to Scottish football. They have been well looked after by the backroom staff who have been so professional in their handling and coaching of the squad. It has been a privilege for me to head up such a team."
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