Hearts players named in the Scotland Under-21 squad for key European Championship qualifiers

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Young Tynecastle men likely to get game time under Gemmill

Scotland Under-21 coach Scot Gemmill today named two Hearts players in his squad for this month's European Championship qualifiers against Belgium and Hungary. Midfielder Alex Lowry and defender Lewis Neilson both made the 23-man pool after strong displays at club level.

Lowry is on loan at Tynecastle Park from Rangers and established a place in head coach Steven Naismith's starting line-up in recent weeks. He also scored a penalty for Scotland Under-21s in last month's European Championship qualifier against Malta, which helped him retain a place this time round.

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Neilson is currently on loan from Hearts to Partick Thistle and is enjoying a consistent run of games in the Scottish Championship. Thistle are sitting third in the table and keen to push for promotion to the Premiership. The centre-back played in both of last month's Scotland Under-21 games against Hungary in Malta and will hope for similar involvement again.

Both 20-year-olds can expect to get game time as Gemmill looks to steer Scotland to the 2025 European Under-21 Championship finals in Slovakia. By the time that tournament begins, it will be 29 years since a Scotland team has reached the Under-21 Euros.

The Scots sit third in qualifying Group B with six points from their first three ties. Above them are leaders Spain and second-placed Belgium, both on nine points.

Scotland play the Belgians at the Stadion Schiervelde in Roeselare on Friday, 17 November, in a 7pm kick-off. They travel to meet Hungary four days later on Tuesday, 21 November, at Budapest's Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion in another 7pm kick-off.

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