AFTER a nervous wait Motherwell striker Daniel McDonald got the news every Scottish schoolboy dreams of when he was selected as part of the Lloyds TSB u18 squad for the 2013 Centenary Shield.
The final trials, which took place at Toryglen Recreation Football Centre, whittled the 34-strong contingent down to just 18 and the 16-year-old is keen to continue his goal-scoring exploits for his country.
McDonald has scored 13 goals in his last 15 games for his club’s u17 side, but believes his experiences with the u20s will stand him in good stead for the international stage.
And with two months still remaining until he gets to don the famous blue jersey, McDonald insists he will train even harder to ensure he starts against Northern Ireland on February 22.
He said: “I am absolutely delighted with the call up and it is a great end to all the trials and all the time I sacrificed and gave up to be here.
“This year I have started to get a lot of regular game time and now the chance to play with the Scotland set up is another chance to test myself.
“It is great to play more regularly because it is so important at my age to keep improving.
“I have noticed an improvement in my own game. I have trained with the older team, the u20s, and I relish the challenge of playing with bigger and stronger guys.
“I’ve got 13 goals in 15 games this season and that gives you the extra confidence with the ball and on the pitch.
“I think the England game will be the one I am most looking forward to. We will be underdogs but that tends to spur you on more and I want to make a statement.
“Being selected for your country is what you play for and I just can’t wait to push on.”
Lloyds TSB Scotland, proud partner for the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland u18 schoolboys squad for their 2013 Centenary Shield campaign. For all the latest squad news, visit scottishfa.co.uk/ssfa.