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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 16:52 UK

Driver to wait for Scotland call

Andrew Driver
Driver was selected by Stuart Pearce for England Under-21s

Hearts winger Andrew Driver will delay any decision on playing for Scotland until he receives an invite to do so.

A rule change allows England Under-21 cap Driver to play for the country he moved to at the age of 10.

"If he's ever asked to represent Scotland, then he'll have a decision to make," Driver's agent Scott Fisher told BBC Scotland.

"Until then, he just wants to concentrate on fitness so that he can regain the form he showed last season."

Driver and Scotland manager George Burley were both cautious about a possible call-up for the Oldham-born player, who moved to North Berwick as a child.

He represented Scotland at schoolboy level and after a sustained period of good form was selected earlier this year for England Under-21s at the European Championship in Sweden.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

At the time he expressed his "delight" at the call-up by Stuart Pearce and described the rules which prevented him from playing for Scotland as "unfortunate".

However, those rules have now changed.

Fifa has ratified a proposal agreed by the home nations which allows British passport holders, irrespective of where they were born, to play for a country where they have been schooled for five years.

Speaking to the Hearts website on Monday, Driver said: "If you are talking about me and Scotland, I haven't been picked yet and I can't expect to walk into a national team.

"Scotland has been very good to me. The country has given me my education, I am earning a living here and my family are also very happy."

Burley waits for Driver commitment

Burley told BBC Scotland: "I don't know whether he wants to play for Scotland. I don't know whether I would pick him.

"It's all hypothetical. If someone is available for Scotland, it's something we would look at it. We've got a strong squad. It's all conjecture. He's a very good player."

Meanwhile, Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo said he would do nothing to influence the winger and urged fans to respect the player's eventual decision.

"This decision can only come from the player himself, nobody can make it for him," Laszlo told the club website.

"My duty is to make him a better player for Hearts and get as good a performance out of him for the team as I can.

"I cannot really give him any advice about this. It is a private matter for Andrew Driver."

I don't think his accent or anything else would bother me as long as he was committed to the lion rampant, rather than the three lions

Ally McCoist
Rangers assistant manager

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith said that if Driver says he wants to play for Scotland and is playing well enough, then he would be welcomed into the national team set-up.

Driver is not likely to make any such statement of intent and Burley's guarded comments do not suggest that he is in rush to make the first move ahead of November's friendly in Wales.

However, former Scotland striker Ally McCoist has urged Burley to consider the Tynecastle star.

"I happen to think he is a terrific talent," said the Rangers assistant manager. "He is a good player and I don't think we are blessed with enough fantastic players that we can pick and choose, so I'm all for picking someone who is available to play for us.

"You're talking to someone who played with Stuart McCall and Andy Goram, who had as thick English accents as you will ever get.

"I would also tell you they are two of the most patriotic Scotsmen I've ever had the pleasure of playing with.

"From that point of view, I don't think his accent or anything else would bother me as long as he was committed to the lion rampant, rather than the three lions."



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see also
Smith happy with Driver approach
12 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Driver 'delight' at England call
29 May 09 |  Hearts


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