Scotland call-up makes perfect gift for starlets

Jai Quitongo (left) and Scott Burns with Kevin McLaughlin of Scottish School's FA partner TSB.
Jai Quitongo (left) and Scott Burns with Kevin McLaughlin of Scottish School's FA partner TSB.

Motherwell defender Scott Burns can’t wait to test his abilities on the international stage in the Centenary Shield.

Burns learned he was in the Scotland schoolboys under-18 squad at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre in Glasgow where the 18-man squad were beginning their preparations for the tournament, which begins in the spring.

Scotland will take on Wales, the Republic of Ireland, holders Northern Ireland and England with the clash against the latter at Ewood Park - home of Blackburn Rovers - on April 11.

Burns, who plays for Motherwell under-17s and is bidding to earn a professional contract at Fir Park, said: “I was chuffed to be called up. I was not expecting to get in so it is a great achievement.

“I’m looking forward to playing England the most as I went down to watch the friendly international at Wembley and would love to beat them as a player.

“Everyone in the under-17s at Motherwell is fighting for a contract and being selected for Scotland will really help my chances.”

Also selected was Braidhurst High pupil Jai Quitongo and he admitted the chance to represent his country, having had a previous opportunity cut short through injury, is fantastic.

The 16-year-old said: “My dad, Jose, used to play for St Mirren and Kilmarnock so I got it from him. He is really happy for me and hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.

“I went to a training camp for the Scotland under-16 team last October, but I pulled my hamstring in training and didn’t get to play. Hopefully I can do really well in the Shield games.”

TSB, proud partner of the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland under-18 schoolboys squad for their 2014 Centenary Shield campaign. For all the latest squad news, visit SSFA