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English-born Andrew Driver commits himself to Scotland

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Levein looks forward to the challenge with Scotland

Hearts' English-born winger Andrew Driver is to represent Scotland as a full international, national manager Craig Levein has confirmed.

Driver, who has been capped for England Under-21s, qualifies for Scotland under recently-agreed residency criteria.

He also played for Scotland schoolboys, once scoring against England.

Levein has also confirmed that Rangers pair Kris Boyd and Allan McGregor will be included in the squad for March's friendly with the Czech Republic.

Boyd declared himself unavailable for Scotland under former manager George Burley while McGregor was banned for a breach of discipline.

Former Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson, now at Birmingham, was also banned and doubts remain as to whether he will return to the Scotland fold.

Levein has spoken to Ferguson and said the discussions were positive but the matter is not yet resolved.

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The four British home nations recently agreed to change the eligibility rules to include those with five years' schooling in a country.

That gave Driver, who had represented Scotland at schoolboy level, the opportunity to switch should he decide to do so.

"Andy Driver gave me the nod yesterday that he is dead keen," explained Levein.

"I said 'Do you want to go away and think about it?' He said 'No, my mind is made up, I want to play for Scotland'.

"We need to find out he meets the criteria exactly, that it's five years schooling and not four years, 11 months and 26 days."

Driver turned out for England at the U21 European Championship last summer but injury has restricted him to just 11 appearances for Hearts this season.

Speaking after making his latest comeback in the weekend defeat to St Johnstone last Saturday, Driver said: "I hold Craig Levein in high regard.

"He was the first manager I ever had in my Hearts career.

Celtic's Somali-born forward Islam Feruz became the first player to be selected for Scotland under the new schooling rule.

On the subject of Ferguson's possible return, Levein added: "I've spoken to Barry, I spent two hours with him last week and I've spoken to him on the phone.

"I would consider both conversations were very positive. The difficulty is the timing of everything.

"You have to appreciate that at the start of the season Barry signed a contract with Birmingham and had nothing else on the horizon. So he has made commitments to his club.

"Also his wife and kids are staying up in Scotland so he has made commitments on that front.

"We plan to speak further. I have got a good feeling about the discussions we've had."

Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch could also be considered after Levein received some indication that the Rangers midfielder may reverse his international retirement.

"I was discussing Lee the other day," the Scotland manager said. "It shows you I have been that busy travelling about, I didn't realise he had declared he wanted to come back on board.

"I heard it second or third hand just the other day. I will look at anybody who wants to put on a Scotland jersey.

"I'm trying to make this pool as big as possible."



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see also
Smith backs Scots recall of duo
05 Feb 10 |  Rangers
Levein reveals England Euro wish
05 Feb 10 |  Football
Levein has initial Ferguson talks
25 Jan 10 |  Football
Burley open to Scotland recalls
11 Jan 10 |  Football
Levein wants Driver for Scotland
24 Dec 09 |  Hearts
Dundee Utd begin manager search
23 Dec 09 |  Dundee Utd
Levein's Tayside legacy
23 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Levein's great challenge
23 Dec 09 |  Football
No U-turn on Boyd future - Brown
23 Dec 09 |  Rangers
Levein will need results - Smith
23 Dec 09 |  Rangers


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