A Scot who had only ever played five-a-side or school league football made his international debut in a World Cup Qualifier.
Construction manager and Aberdeen fan Ross Andrew, 31, got the nod from scouts for the British Virgin Islands team last month.
He walked onto the pitch to play for the Caribbean island territory in a match against Bonaire in the Concaf Nations League on Friday (29 March), the first stage in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
The scouts put out flyers to find players
Andrew told the Daily Record, “I have always played football and I’m a big Aberdeen fan.
“But I’ve never done more than local level ot five-a-side, so this was something else.”
Andrew has lived on the island of Virgin Gorda for the past five years, working for Sir Richard Branson.
In an attempt to put together a team before the World Cup qualifiers, BVI scouts flyered the island six weeks before the game.
A week’s intensive training
Andrew fancied his chances, and so went to neighbouring island Tortola - home of the territory’s capital Road Town - for trials. He made the grade, and took part in a week’s intensive training before the game.
He said, “Life is so relaxed and slow-paced here that I’m not surprised that flyers went out to recruit the players. I took a week off work to train with the team and we played on the island of Anguilla.
“It was quite hard going, as I’m not as fit as I should be.”
Although BVI lost 2-1 to Bonaire, Andrew did manage to win a penalty for his side after coming on at half time when they were 1-0 down.
Childhood club praised performance
His boyhood team Dyce Boys Club has praised his performance.
They wrote on Facebook, “Well done on the achievement Ross and I think a club delegation may have to come watch your next game.”
Andrew told the Record, “Since I chose to represent the BVI, it now rules me out of getting selected for Scotland, so that was a hard decision.
“Especially after Scotland’s recent performance against the mighty Kazakhstan, it’s played heavily on my mind.”
Andrew is in touch with the coaches at BVI and had not ruled out playing for them again in the future. There may be more opportunities to play in July.