Easter Road perfect for Ryan McGowan’s cap

Ryan McGowan has earned a call-up to the Australia squad. Picture: TSPL

Ryan McGowan has earned a call-up to the Australia squad. Picture: TSPL

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AS Ryan McGowan prepares for an international debut this evening, Hearts manager John McGlynn explained why he is delighted the Australian doesn’t have to travel anywhere to earn his first cap.

McGowan is expected to feature at some stage in tonight’s international friendly between Scotland and Australia at 
Easter Road after being named in Holger Osieck’s squad for the first time.

McGlynn believes the international recognition is thoroughly deserved, with McGowan having established himself as a first-team regular at Hearts over the last year.

However, the Hearts manager is also relieved that the defender – who turns 23 today – won’t have to leave Edinburgh to represent his country. Players can often return from midweek internationals fatigued after a series of flights, but that won’t be an issue for McGowan.

“It’s great for Ryan to be in the squad, and with the game being at Easter Road he doesn’t have any travelling to do. That’s a bonus for us,” McGlynn told the Evening News.

“He thoroughly deserves the call-up. Ryan is a player who can play in many different positions. He can play right-back, centre midfield or centre-back, so it’s a big boost to him getting this recognition. We feel he definitely merits it.”

McGlynn will be more concerned about the prospect of injury to reserve goalkeeper Mark Ridgers, who was stretchered off during Scotland’s under-21 friendly with Belgium last night. He collided with Thomas Meunier and suffered a knee injury, the extent of which was due to be discovered after a scan today.

Meanwhile, David Templeton has accepted a two-match ban from the Scottish Football Association for kicking out at Hibs captain James McPake during Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.

The winger is now suspended for Hearts’ next two SPL matches against Inverness and Aberdeen. The SFA’s compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, studied footage of the incident and decided Templeton was guilty of violent conduct despite referee Willie Collum not issuing any punishment at the time.