Scotland Under-19 call-up for Hearts defender Aaron Hickey
The prominent rise of teenage Hearts defender Aaron Hickey continued today with a call-up to the Scotland Under-19 squad.
The left-back is included in the group which will travel to Murcia, Spain, next month for two friendly games against Japan.
Hickey, 17, has progressed rapidly just over a year since joining Hearts professionally and has now been rewarded with a promotion at international level.
Scotland Under-19 coach Billy Stark was impressed after watching him represent his country at Under-17s earlier this year. The elevation follows the player's breakthrough into the senior team at Tynecastle Park.
"We face a strong side in Japan next month in what I know will be a beneficial double-header in Murcia," Stark told the Scottish FA website.
"It's very encouraging for me to see a number of players in the squad getting game time at first team level at a young age, and of course it's also pleasing to see players make the step up to Scot Gemmill's Under-21 side in recent years too.
"This is another opportunity for those called up to impress on the international scene."
Former Riccarton academy player Marc Leonard, now with Brighton and Hove Albion, is also named in Stark's squad.
Hearts manager Craig Levein handed Hickey a first-team debut in May and then started him in the Scottish Cup final against Celtic at Hampden Park. He has made five appearances so far this term.