After being called up to the Scotland under 17′s training camp in Falkirk over the 14/15 February, 16 year old Mark Shankland impressed coach Ricky Sbragia so much, he included him in the squad to face Serbia at the end of the month at Somerset Park.
It’s a huge opportunity for the youngster and gives him the chance to cement himself in the squad as they look towards the UEFA Under 17 Championships elite round that will be held in Scotland in March.
This step up in competition will further enhance the player’s growing stock and also that of the Academy setup as it builds and grows its playing development product. We wish Mark all the best for this game and hope to see plenty of supporters turn out at Somerset in support of him as he makes his Scotland debut.
Mark said of the call up:”It’s a dream come true to be called up to the Scotland squad;When I found out about it, I was stunned.”
“Even after participating in the training camp at the beginning of the week, it still comes as a shock when you actually hear the words that you have been chosen.” said the 16 year old.
“It’s brilliant this match is at Somerset Park and I hope the coach sees this as home turf for me and gives me a chance, even to play a few minutes would be fantastic. I don’t expect anything from this game and to be part of the international setup in itself is a great opportunity that I will savour for the rest of my life.” continued the young man from Mauchline.
“WOW, part of the Scotland team! It never gets old saying that.” joked Mark.
Marks biggest supporter, his mum Elaine, looked overawed by it all and said:”I feel like Mark’s PA after all the phone calls we have received since the squad was announced so to come down to Somerset Park to speak to you has given me a break from the bedlam. It’s all good though as it’s the best type of contact we could get from everyone. Mark was only at the Falkirk training camp on Monday & Tuesday so this news came through really fast. I really couldn’t be any prouder of him.”
“I think I am more nervous and excited about the whole thing than Mark is and I really can’t wait until the big match now.”
Director of the Academy, David Watson said,”This is huge for Mark and also the Academy. This shows how good a player he is and we all believe he can make the grade. The fact this upcoming match is at Somerset Park is a bonus as there will be a massive support turn out for Mark on what will hopefully be his Scotland international debut.”
Scotland U17 squad announcement Thursday, 16 February 2012
Vauxhall International Challenge Match
Scotland U17s v Serbia
Somerset Park, Ayr
Tuesday, 28 February, kick-off 7pm
Admission: £5; Kids go FREE
Ryan Crump (Liverpool)
Jordan Hart (Celtic)
Liam Kelly (Rangers)
Stuart Findlay (Celtic)
Ryan Finnie (Hamilton Academical)
Stephen Hendrie (Hamilton Academical)
Lionel Stone (Brentford)
Kyle Turnbull (Falkirk)
Stuart Urquhart (Rangers)
Fraser Aird (Rangers)
Lewis Kidd (Celtic)
Jamie Lindsay (Celtic)
Malcolm Melvin (Aston Villa)
Darren Petrie (Dundee United)
Darren Ramsay (Rangers)
Craig Sibbald (Falkirk)
Scott Smith (Dundee United)
Charlie Telfer (Rangers)
Islam Feruz (Chelsea)
Ryan Gauld (Dundee United)
Denny Johnstone (Celtic)
Jack Kirwan (Celtic)
Mark Shankland (Ayr United)
Cameron Smith (Aberdeen)
All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated.
- Youth Football: Ayr United Lose out as Queens Edge Scottish Cup Quarterfinal (bleacherreport.com)