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Blackburn's Grant Hanley gets first Scotland call-up

Blackburn defender Grant Hanley in action against Aston Villa
Blackburn defender Grant Hanley in action against Aston Villa

Blackburn defender Grant Hanley and Aberdeen striker Chris Maguire have been handed their first Scotland call-ups ahead of the Carling Nations Cup.

Leeds United winger Robert Snodgrass has also been named in manager Craig Levein's 22-man squad.

The Scots face Northern Ireland on Wednesday 9 February in Dublin.

"I've watched him four times and he has all the attributes to be a top-class centre-back," said Levein of Dumfries-born Hanley, 19.

"Grant is a young lad who has impressed in the short time he has been involved in the Premier League matches.

"When I look at him and young Danny Wilson, this was an opportunity for me to have a look at those two together in a competitive environment, training with the rest of the players.

"I do believe in the years ahead that those two could very well form the centre-back pairing for Scotland.


"When I look at the quality of those young lads, I don't want to put any brakes on them.

"If they are playing at a level that indicates to me they are capable of playing international football, then their age will be no barrier."

Dundee United striker David Goodwillie, who was recently charged with serious sexual assault, has been omitted from the Scotland squad.

"It's an awkward situation to be placed in," said Levein, explaining his decision to leave out the Tannadice forward.

"I firmly believe it was the right thing to do. He has a cloud hanging over his head with the situation he is in just now.

Levein excited by squad standard

"I feel, as the Scotland manager, I have to look at what's best for the team and I don't believe, with that hanging over him, he's going to be capable of playing to the best of his ability.

"I thought long and hard about it and I believe I made the right decision."

On his side's participation in the inaugural Carling Nations Cup, Levein said: "From day one my intention was to win the competition and I think this is a strong squad.

"I've been sending out a message for the last two or three months that we now have a group of players who I really do believe are capable of taking the game to the opposition now.

"When I first took this job, it was about being hard to beat. I really have great belief in these players that we can now be hard to stop.

"This is a really exciting time for Scottish football.

"This competition is important, I want to win the competition and I want to win the first game."

Scotland Squad

Goalkeepers: Bell (Kilmarnock) Gordon (Sunderland) McGregor (Rangers)

Defenders: Bardsley (Sunderland) Berra (Wolves) Caldwell (Wigan Athletic) Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) Hutton (Tottenham Hotspur) Danny Wilson (Liverpool) Mark Wilson (Celtic)

Midfielders: Adam (Blackpool) Bannan (Aston Villa) Brown (Celtic) Commons (Celtic) Dorrans (West Brom) Fletcher (Manchester United) McCulloch (Rangers) Morrison (West Brom)

Forwards: Maguire (Aberdeen) Miller (Bursaspor) Naismith (Rangers) Snodgrass (Leeds United)

see also
Debut Scots call for Goodwillie
11 Nov 10 |  Scotland

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