Ryan McGowan still in Craig Levein’s plans despite being on brink of Australia call-up

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SCOTLAND boss Craig 
Levein revealed today that Ryan McGowan remains on his radar, despite the Hearts defender being on the verge of a call-up to the Australia squad.

Levein yesterday named a 24-man pool for the friendly match against the Socceroos later this month at Easter Road as Scotland begin their build-up to September’s World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Macedonia.

Ironically McGowan, who impressed as a key part of the Scottish Cup-winning Hearts side from last season, may well be included in the Australia team for that match. The Jambo has represented the Aussies at every level up to Under-23 but that doesn’t tie him to the

nation of his birth.

But Levein has not ruled out enticing the big defender, whose mother and father are both Scottish, to pull on the dark blue of Scotland in future.

And he admitted that while he did not speak to McGowan about next week’s match, he is keeping a close eye on his progress ahead of the next international friendly against Luxembourg in November.

Levein said: “I have got a game in November against Luxembourg and Ryan is one that I am considering looking at for that. He has done well and he had a really good season last season and I would love to see him progress and do as well again this year. He is an exciting young player and we will see how that one goes.”

Levein is also keeping his eye on another couple of Hearts players, namely Andrew Driver and David Templeton and he believes that if the latter can add a bit of consistency to his game this season, he could have a good future ahead of him at international level.

“Andrew Driver is one that I am keeping an eye on and David Templeton, I thought he was excellent at the weekend. He is one that I have been watching for a while but he has just lacked that bit of consistency.”

Andy Webster, however, did make it into the squad to face Australia and Levein admitted that his experience will prove invaluable for the younger members of the Scotland side.

He continued: “We need some experience in the group and Andy certainly provides that. Andy is, in my opinion, is getting himself back to where he was a few years ago. He came across to America with us and it was good to have him back involved again.”