Scottish born players who didn’t want to play for Scotland

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Picture credit – Kim Traynor – Welcome to Scotland sign on the A1 © kim traynor :: Geograph Britain and Ireland

In the week before Scotland’s crucial Euro 2024 qualifying clash against Spain tonight, the ‘Elliot Anderson for Scotland’ saga rumbles on.

Recent reports suggest that the wonderkid born in Whitley Bay in England, will now be left alone to decide on his international future.

As quoted in the National, Scotland assistant manager John Carver said: “We have to respect him and give him time to make his decision. He’s a young lad, developing as a player in the right direction.”

Anderson had played one match for Scotland under 21’s, in a 0-0 draw against Belgium and was eligible to play for the Scots through his Glaswegian Grandmother.

Steve Clarke had called the 20-year-old up to the full squad for last month’s double header against Cyprus and England after some impressive performances for Newcastle in the English Premier League.

The one that springs to mind, is when he notched a brace against Brighton away, to win the game for Newcastle.

But, he left the camp back in September before playing a game, stating he was injured. He wasn’t recalled to the squad for the Spain and France double-header this month.

Here are five other players who have had to wrestle with their allegiances and have picked another country over Scotland.

Castlemilk’s finest

Back in 1994, the Republic of Ireland beat tournament favourites Italy 1-0 in the opening match of the World Cup.

The goal scorer was no other than Liverpool’s Glasgow born midfielder Ray Houghton, who had been overlooked by Scotland and decided to pledge his future to Ireland through his Irish father.

Houghton would go on to gain over 70 caps and score on six occasions.

Coyne flip

Another player in the same starting line-up for Ireland that day, was Tommy Coyne, born just down the road from Houghton in Govan.

Despite scoring goals for Celtic in the Premier League, Coyne wasn’t selected by then Scotland manager Craig Brown.

As reported by the Scotsman, his lack of opportunities with the country of his birth, led him to choose Ireland through his Irish Grandmother. This was despite supporting Scotland as a kid.

He goes to the land down under

Despite playing for Hibs, Nottingham Forrest, Rangers and Luton Town, Jason Cummings still couldn’t get a game for Scotland.

The Edinburgh-born striker had scored over 70 goals in less than ten years in Scotland and England before moving to Australia to play for Central Coast Mariners, bagging nearly 30 goals in his first year.

This impressive start to the 2022-23 season attracted the attention of the Socceroo’s head coach who snapped him up with Cummings scoring on his debut against New Zealand.

Cummings would come off the bench in the 4-1 defeat game against France.

The former Dundee goal-scorer then joined up with his team mates in Qatar last November for the World Cup where he would reach the last 16 round only to be put out by Lionel Messi’s Argentina who eventually won the tournament.

The Hibs-Australia connection continues

Another Scottish-born player who switched to play for the Aussies is Martin Boyle, who also plied his trade at Hibs.

The striker who was overlooked by Alex McLeish during his second stint as national team manager was eligible for Australia through his father.

Unlike Cummings, Boyle didn’t make the World Cup due to injury.

He last played in September scoring in a 2-2 draw against Mexico. In total, he’s scored six in 19 appearances.  

Scott Arfield with the Scotland under 19s – Picture Credit – Steindy – File:Scott Arfield – Schottland U-21 (2).jpg – Wikimedia Commons

English Premier league star who opted for Canada

This midfielder, who’s now 34 played for Burnley in the English Premier League and also played in a Europa League final with Rangers.

Scott Arfield was capped for Scotland at under-19 and B level, but was never called up to the senior squad, turning to Canada for international experience due to his father being born in Toronto.

Arfield’s appearances were limited to fewer than 20 and missed out on selection for the 2022 World Cup prompting him to announce his retirement.

However, since leaving Rangers last May, the former Falkirk player has got off to a flyer in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in America scoring two in 11 games for Charlotte FC.

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