Five Hearts players called up for international duty as Scotland and Australia name their squads

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Five Hearts players will depart for international duty after Saturday’s Premiership match against Aberdeen as Scotland and Australia named their first squads of 2023.

Steve Clarke has called up the Tynecastle Park goalkeeper Zander Clark for Scotland’s opening European Championship qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain later this month. The 30-year-old’s last involvement with the international squad was in June 2022, although he has yet to win a senior cap.

With Clark’s club colleague Craig Gordon injured, the national team needs a new No.1. Norwich City’s Angus Gunn – son of former Scotland keeper Bryan – and Motherwell’s Liam Kelly are the other goalkeepers vying for that role. Like Clark, both are uncapped. Gunn recently switched his allegiance from England to Scotland and is favourite to secure the goalkeeping position.

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Scotland face Cyprus on Saturday, March 25, and Spain three days later, both at Hampden Park. They will aim to start the Euro 2024 campaign on a positive note after last year’s successful Nations League campaign secured promotion to League A, plus a play-off spot for the Euros should they fail to qualify automatically.

Clarke called up 23 players in total with no real surprises. Everton defender Nathan Patterson is included despite not playing a first-team game since January 3 due to injury. Kieran Tierney’s lack of a regular place in the Arsenal team did not stop him being named in the squad either.

Australia coach Graham Arnold has called upon four Hearts players for the Socceroos friendly double header against Ecuador in Melbourne and Sydney. Defenders Nathaniel Atkinson and Kye Rowles are joined in the squad by midfielder Cammy Devlin and striker Garang Kuol, who is on loan in Edinburgh from Newcastle United.

Scotland squad in full to face Cyprus and Spain:

Goalkeepers: Zander Clark (Hearts), Angus Gunn (Norwich City), Liam Kelly (Motherwell).

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Heats keeper Zander Clark is in the latest Scotland squad.Heats keeper Zander Clark is in the latest Scotland squad.
Heats keeper Zander Clark is in the latest Scotland squad.

Defenders: Liam Cooper (Leeds United), Grant Hanley (Norwich City), Jack Hendry (Club Brugge), Aaron Hickey (Brentford), Nathan Patterson (Everton), Ryan Porteous (Watford), Andy Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Lewis Ferguson (Bologna), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), Ryan Jack (Rangers), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Kenny McLean (Norwich City), Scott McTominay (Manchester United).

Forwards: Che Adams (Southampton), Jacob Brown (Stoke City), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers).