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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 18:35 GMT
Young Scots lose Hibs trio
Derek Riordan celebrates with team-mates
Hibs have a number of youngsters playing in the first team
Hibs trio Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson and Derek Riordan have all been released from the Scotland U-20 squad to play a friendly with Portugal on 17 December.

All three players are first team regulars at Easter Road and are needed for the CIS Insurance Cup quarter final with Celtic on the following evening.

Celtic are likely to follow suite and request that Shaun Maloney, Ross Wallace and John Kennedy are pulled out of international duty.

Celtic boss Martin O'Neill has used the CIS Cup to give youngsters experience but may allow David Marshall, Paul Lawson and Bryan Prunty to remain with the Scotland squad.

Hibs boss Bobby Williamson held talks with Scotland coach Rainer Bonhof and was pleased that his three youngsters would be available to face Celtic.

"I've spoken with Rainer and he agrees that we need the players with us at Hibs," Williamson told the Edinburgh Evening News.

"We have withdrawn them and they will be with us for the full week preparing for the CIS quarter-final.

"Rainer Bonhof is a fair man and I don't think there was ever any doubt that he would release them for our game as they have been featuring regularly for us."

With the prospect of losing up to nine of his squad for the trip to Portugal, Bonhof will have to draft in a number of new players.

Rushden and Diamonds centre-half John Dempster has already been called up to the Scotland set-up for the first time.

He was the only new face named in Bonhof's original squad for the friendly at the Estadio Antonio Correia in Alcochete, near Lisbon.

The squad is for players born in 1983 or later and who are eligible for the next Uefa Under-21 Championships, which start in September.

Aberdeen's Zander Diamond and Liverpool's Robbie Foy step up from the Under-19s.

Kettering-born Dempster, who has previously had youth trials with Scotland, has become a regular with Rushden and Diamonds in the English Second Division this season.


Revised Scotland Under-20 squad

Goalkeepers: Marshall (Celtic), Samson (Kilmarnock), Turner (Everton)

Defenders: Dempster (Rushden & Diamonds), Diamond (Aberdeen), Dillon (Kilmarnock), Dowie (Rangers), Kennedy (Celtic), McCunnie (Ross County)

Midfielders: Burke (Rangers), Fotheringham (Dundee), Lawson (Celtic), Sweeney (Millwall), Wilson (Dundee United)

Forwards: Foy (Liverpool), Maloney, Prunty, Wallace (all Celtic)

* Some of the Celtic players are expected to be withdrawn.







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