Former Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald is being considered for a Scotland call-up after impressing national coaching staff with his club, Kilmarnock.
Steve Clarke’s tenure at Rugby Park coincided with MacDonald returning to the team and performing with aplomb. That caught the attention of Scotland manager Alex McLeish and his backroom team.
“He’s been consistent for a number of years,” said Stevie Woods, the national team’s goalkeeping coach. “The first squad I was involved in, I had Allan McGregor, Jordan Archer and Jon McLaughlin. I wanted Jamie to know that, just because he wasn’t in the first squad, I wasn’t going to exclude him from future squads.
“He’s been doing himself proud and we just want to acknowledge on the record that we’ve been keeping an eye on him. He’s been excellent with Kilmarnock. I had a chat with him when I first got this job to say: ‘Keep doing what you’re doing. You aren’t out of sight, out of mind.’
“I’m mindful of the goalkeeping talent we’ve got and there are only so many opportunities. We only have three places in the squad, if we could give four, five or six, then we would fill them up with young Scottish talent.”
MacDonald, now 32, graduated from the Riccarton youth academy and won the Scottish Cup with Hearts before being released in 2014. He joined Falkirk and switched to Kilmarnock 12 months later.
McGregor, Archer and Craig Gordon are the three keepers for Scotland’s friendly with Belgium on Friday and Monday’s UEFA Nations League tie against Albania.
“Craig and Allan are playing at the highest level with Celtic and Rangers, but we’ve brought in Jordan Archer, Scott Bain and Jon McLaughlin [this year]. We’ve also been monitoring Jamie. We have a succession plan in place. We have two fantastic goalkeepers right at this moment, and two for the future. In the Under-21s we’ve got Ross Doohan, Robby McCrorie and Ryan Fulton. We hope they each other on.”
David Marshall, the 33-year-old Hull City goalkeeper, has asked not be selected for international duty right now for personal reasons. “We do have an embarrassment of riches with the two senior guys. Any other nation in the world would be glad to have two keepers of that standard,” added Woods. “David Marshall has asked if he can concentrate on Hull just now. For a long time, we’ve had three fantastic goalkeepers. Now we only have two - only two top-level goalies. It’s a great problem to have.”