Connect with us

Football

Inside Scotland’s base in Germany – with that John McGinn dancing

Published

on

Scotland immediately threw themselves into their Euro 2024 adventure tonight as John McGinn did a German folk dance with oompah band leaders at a civic reception in Bavaria.

Manager Steve Clarke, his players, the support staff and the SFA hierarchy flew into Germany this afternoon for the nation’s first appearance at a major tournament overseas in 26 years. After travelling south from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Alpine skiing resort where they will be based for the duration of their tournament, the Scotland party was given a hugely enthusiastic welcome from several hundred locals and some Tartan Army fans in kilts and Scotland tops.

The recent heavy rainfall in southern Germany continued on Sunday to the extent that the outdoor welcoming committee led by the town’s mayor, Elisabeth Koch, had to be moved to an indoor venue. There the Scotland management and players slowly worked their way through a waiting crowd to get into the Bayernhalle event centre. A brass band and a piper played as the players took to the stage, with McGinn stealing the show by taking part alongside lederhosen-wearing locals in the Schuhplattler folk dance, stroking his shoes, thighs and knees with his hand while wearing a traditional Bavarian hat.

“When we came here in January we thought it would be a special place to have our base camp and now to see this welcome is amazing,” Clarke told the audience. “You’ll be fabulous hosts and I hope we’ll be a fabulous football team.”

The original plan was that only three Scotland players would appear with Clarke but instead the whole squad turned up. Captain Andy Robertson also took the microphone to thank the locals and fans who had turned up. “It’s been a long day of travelling and we’ll all be ready for bed, but it’s been wonderful to see the local people. The fans will drink a lot of beer. They’ll be here in numbers and will enjoy themselves, but Scottish people try to be respectful and will behave themselves. Hopefully they can be celebrating us winning.”

Mayor Koch had a Scotland scarf around her neck throughout. “I think they will survive the first group and make it to the last round: Steve Clarke told me that and I believe him! I am an Alpine skier, so I have no idea about football, but I know the Scotland team has an award as the fairest in the tournament so that is great. Let’s wait and see next Friday.”

Despite the late decision to move the civic occasion indoors — the rain had actually stopped by the time it began — Mayor Koch said the playing surface at Scotland’s training facility in the town, Stadion am Gröben, would not be affected. “The training pitch is only 400 metres from here. It is new and the drainage is fantastic so we have no worries with the weather.”

The Mayor of Garmisch-Partenkirchen greets Scotland manager Clarke

ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA WIRE

Scotland head north to Munich on Thursday for the tournament opener against hosts Germany in the Fussball Arena München on Friday night.

The squad arrived on Sunday…

The Scotland team make their way to a reception at Bayernhalle in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

The Scotland team make their way to a reception at Bayernhalle in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA WIRE

…with the team whisked off to a welcome event where captain Andy Robertson spoke to the local residents.

Robertson addresses a reception at the local town where Scotland are staying

Robertson addresses a reception at the local town where Scotland are staying

ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA WIRE

McGinn gave it a good go as he joined in the local dancing.

A video of McGinn on social media (see above) captured the spirit of the occasion

A video of McGinn on social media (see above) captured the spirit of the occasion

ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA

And this was after the squad had departed and arrived to the tune of bagpipes.

The Scotland squad departs for Germany at Glasgow Airport, on June 09, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by )

The Scotland squad departs for Germany at Glasgow Airport, on June 09, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by )

ROSS MACDONALD/SNS GROUP

Before the flight out, the squad had enjoyed a free day on Saturday with several players visiting a local zoo.

Liam Cooper, Robertson, Lawrence Shankland and Ryan Jack with the lemurs during a visit to the Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Scotland

Liam Cooper, Robertson, Lawrence Shankland and Ryan Jack with the lemurs during a visit to the Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Scotland

ROBERT PERRY/PA WIRE

Now the attention turns to Germany and Friday’s huge opening game of Euro 2024.

Feeding the giraffes before it all gets serious later this week

Feeding the giraffes before it all gets serious later this week

ROBERT PERRY/PA WIRE

Continue Reading