Select ace Sheriff out to shoot down the Borders

Tollcross Thistle coach Alan McKay is managing the LEAFA Select side.

Tollcross Thistle coach Alan McKay is managing the LEAFA Select side.

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Heriot Vale striker Alan Sheriff hopes to replicate his scoring streak for his club when a Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur select face their Border counterparts in an inter-association fixture.

The frontman has already notched 22 goals in his first season with Vale, who are six points clear at the top of Premier 1, and he is looking forward to playing a part in the LEAFA select side for the first time.

“I am delighted to be called up,” said Sheriff. “It will be a good experience to play with all the top players from the region. We all sort of know each other from playing against each other, but it will be different playing in the same team. We had a training session and everyone who took part looked keen to impress.”

Joining Sheriff in the squad are his Heriot Vale team-mates Jordyn Sheerin and Jordan Leishman, who both played with SFL side East Stirlingshire earlier in their careers. Midfielder Leishman has also represented the Scotland Amateur side, something Sheriff aspires to achieve.

He said: “I spoke to Jordan a few times about his experience with the Scotland Amateur side and he only had positive things to say about it. I don’t think the Edinburgh players get as much attention as players from the West, but hopefully that will change in the next few years. I will be trying my hardest to impress.”

With members of the Scotland national select committee set to be in attendance, Sheriff will certainly have the platform to make an impression as he looks to get into national manager Bruce McNaught’s squad.

The two sides faced each other back in February at Netherdale with LEAFA winning 1-0 thanks to a solitary Michael Yuill goal, and Sheriff can only see one outcome on the cards in the return fixture.

“I don’t know too much about the opposition on Sunday, but I’m pretty confident our squad is good enough to beat them. The squad as a whole has got lots of talented players in it. I think with our pace and strength in midfield and attack, we should be looking for a convincing win on Sunday.”

Managing the select side on Sunday is Premier 1 Tollcross Thistle boss Alan McKay alongside his Tollcross assistant Dale McCall and Spartans Amateurs manager Andy Enwood, who have picked an 18-strong side representing ten clubs from LEAFA. The squad took part in a training session at Forrester High School on Monday night and McKay revealed preparation has been good.

“The training session went well and it gave the players a chance to get to know each other slightly better. Andy Enwood, Dale McCall and myself are very happy with the squad we have and the players are certainly looking forward to the game. We don’t have the starting line-up confirmed as of yet as all the players involved have a game today, so we will touch base with them after their games to make sure all is OK and after that we will pick the team. Every squad member will play their part in the game.”

The fixture, which takes place at Spartans’ Ainslie Park at 3pm tomorrow, is the first of several select ties to take place in the coming months with matches planned against an East of Scotland and a Scottish Amateur Football League select next year.

LEAFA squad: Goalkeepers: John Nisbet (Tollcross Thistle), Scott Walker (Fernieside)

Defenders: John Diver (Tollcross Thistle), Steven Milne (Musselburgh Ams), Jamie Stewart (Edinburgh Rose), Kevin Smith (Newcraighall), Tam Lowrie (Edinbugh South Vics)

Midfielders: Jordan Leishman (Heriot Vale), Martin Cairney (Inverleith), Kyle Hay (Tollcross Thistle), Craig Stewart (Edinburgh Rose), David Brogan (Edinburgh Rose), Stewart O’Neil (Tollcross Thistle)

Strikers: Paul Murray (Edinburgh South Vics). Andrew Howat (Spartans), Alan Sheriff (Heriot Vale), Craig Rankin (Lochend), Jordryn Sheerin (Heriot Vale).