Hearts teenager Callumn Morrison is next in line for a Scotland Under-21 call-up after impressing in the first team at Tynecastle Park.
The winger was close to being named in the current Under-21 squad to face Ukraine and England, and is highly regarded by Scottish Football Association youth coaches.
Scot Gemmill, the Scotland Under-21 coach, explained today that he plans to include Morrison for the next European Championship qualifying campaign. The 19-year-old will still be eligible for under-21 duty and should remain a regular at club level if he maintains his form.
He was left out of the starting line-up for Sunday’s trip to Ibrox as Hearts’ 13-game unbeaten run ended with a 3-1 defeat. Morrison has made 12 appearances at first-team level this season, delivering some scintillating attacking performances on the right of midfield.
“I definitely looked at him. He’s doing great and there’s a real intent to include him moving forward,” said Gemmill. “He can play again when the age group changes so I’m really looking forward to working with him. He could easily have been involved at this point.”
Morrison has represented Scotland at under-17 and under-19 level and is now expected to gain promotion to the Under-21s next year. Gemmill explained why he did not call him up this time. The young Scots have a chance of reaching next year’s European Under-21 Championship finals if they beat both Ukraine and England – the latter of those matches being staged at Tynecastle on Tuesday.
“You can only take so many players,” said Gemmill. “I’d have to be truthful and say the fact Callumn can play again in the next campaign relieves that pressure in terms of having to include him before he’s not eligible any more. He played for me at under-17 level so I know him. I bumped into him at the Oriam recently and congratulated him on his new contract. The fact he can play again next time is great for everyone.”