CALLUM TAPPING has been rewarded for breaking into the Hearts first team with a call-up to the Scotland Under-21 squad. The 19-year-old started his club’s last three matches and caught the attention of coach Billy Stark, who has enlisted him for this week’s friendly with Greece in Korinthos.
Tapping joins fellow Hearts teenagers Jason Holt, Kevin McHattie and David Smith in the under-21s after making an instant impression in the Scottish Premier League. He controlled the tempo of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Ross County in Dingwall, with manager John McGlynn emphasising his value as a deep-lying midfield player.
“It is an important role he plays, there’s a lot of discipline to it,” McGlynn told the Evening News. “You can’t just wander all over the place. You need to be ready to take the ball and you’ve got to be competitive and aggressive to go and win the ball when necessary. Then you need to be able to pass it. Callum has shown all those qualities in his games for us so far.”
Tapping joined Hearts from Tottenham Hotspur’s youth ranks in August 2011 but had not made a first-team appearance until the league match at Celtic Park last month. Since then he has started every game and already looks an accomplished midfielder despite his tender years.