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Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 13:02 UK

Commons and Barr given Scots call

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Archive: Falkirk defender Darren Barr

Derby County's Kris Commons and Falkirk's Darren Barr are surprise debutants in George Burley's Scotland squad to face Northern Ireland.

Mansfield-born Commons, 24, has yet to represent Scotland at any level.

Defender Barr, 23, and midfielder Commons were among the 24 players named for next Wednesday's match at Hampden.

Burley will use the friendly as preparation for Scotland's opening game in their World Cup qualifying group, against Macedonia on 6 September.

There is no place in Burley's latest squad for the Rangers trio of Christian Dailly, Lee McCulloch and David Weir - or Aston Villa forward Shaun Maloney.

But Burley says it does not necessarily signal an end to any of their international careers.

Commons qualifies through his Scottish grandparents and, although Burley only discovered his eligibility recently, the Scotland manager has been aware of the player's ability for some time.

I became aware that Kris could qualify for Scotland a few months ago

Scotland manager George Burley

Falkirk skipper Barr, who has been capped before at Scotland B level, is poised to become the first Bairns player to gain a full cap for his country since Alex Parker in 1958.

Burley said: "I became aware that Kris could qualify for Scotland a few months ago.

"I saw a lot of him when I was manager of Derby and he was at Nottingham Forest.

"He transferred to Derby in the summer and I had him watched.

"I think he will give us a different dimension. He is a boy with a lot of ability, he is a naturally left-sided winger and maybe we have lacked width in the squad.

"I spoke to the boy and he was keen and enthusiastic to join the squad."


Veteran Preston defender Callum Davidson returns to the Scotland set-up at the age of 32, six years since his last cap.

Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson will not be available for selection again until at least November following surgery on a troublesome knee injury.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur full-back Alan Hutton also misses out through injury, although the former Rangers player could be fit for the match with Macedonia.

Scotland squad to face Northern Ireland at Hampden Park on 20 August:

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Sunderland), David Marshall (Norwich City), Allan McGregor (Rangers)

Defenders: Darren Barr (Falkirk), Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian), Gary Caldwell (Celtic), Callum Davidson (Preston North End), Stephen McManus (Celtic), Kevin McNaughton (Cardiff City), Gary Naysmith (Sheffield United), Steven Whittaker (Rangers)

Midfielders: Scott Brown (Celtic), Kris Commons (Derby County), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Paul Hartley (Celtic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Gavin Rae (Cardiff City), Barry Robson (Celtic) , Kevin Thomson (Rangers)

Forwards: Kris Boyd (Rangers), David Clarkson (Motherwell), Steven Fletcher (Hibernian), James McFadden (Birmingham City), Kenny Miller (Rangers)

Scotland under-21 squad for Uefa Under 21 Championship qualifying match against Lithuania in Suduva, Marijampole, on 20 August:

Goalkeepers: MacDonald (Hearts), McLean (St. Johnstone), Smith (St. Mirren)

Defenders: Caddis (Celtic), Considine (Aberdeen), Cuthbert (Celtic), Kenneth (Dundee Utd), Reynolds (Motherwell), Scobbie (Falkirk), Wallace (Hearts)

Midfielders: Arfield (Falkirk), Conroy (Celtic), McArthur (Hamilton), McDonald (Burnley), Mulgrew (Aberdeen), Robertson (Dundee Utd), Stevenson (Hibs)

Forwards: Campbell (Hibs), Dorrans (WBA), Elliot (Hearts), Lennon (Rangers), McCormack (Cardiff City)

see also
Burley targets 17 points in group
11 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Shiels and Duff back in NI squad
11 Aug 08 |  Internationals

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