David Wotherspoon: Paul Hanlon deserved Scotland call

Paul Hanlon, right, chats to Eric Black
Paul Hanlon, right, chats to Eric Black
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David Wotherspoon was thrilled to see his old Hibs colleague Paul Hanlon earn a maiden call-up to the full Scotland squad for last week’s friendly against the Netherlands.

The 27-year-old pair came through the ranks at Easter Road and, after breaking into the first team, they both starred for Scotland U-21s.

“It was great news to see Paul get called up,” said Wotherspoon. “He recently moved round the corner from me, so I try and stay in touch with him, and I was absolutely delighted for him. We shared a room with Scotland Under-21s and went on a lot of trips together, so I’m glad he’s made it into the full squad. He’s a consistent player and has proven that over the last few years. He’s always had the quality and he’s been playing really well.”

Wotherspoon and Hanlon were part of a highly-regarded Hibs youth team which spawned four current Premiership regulars. Partick Thistle pair Callum Booth and Sean Welsh were team-mates of Wotherspoon as Alistair Stevenson’s Under-19 side claimed a historic league and Youth Cup double in 2008/09, shortly after Hanlon had been promoted to the first team. “We had a great youth team,” said the St Johnstone midfielder. “Paul moved into the first team a bit quicker than us but the rest of us did the Youth Cup and the league double which was a great success. Kurtis Byrne is playing at a decent level with St Patrick’s in Ireland and there are a few playing lower league in Scotland. There were a few in that team that I thought would progress a bit further, but sometimes players just don’t get the luck or the run that others do. Personally, I feel very lucky to be in the situation I’m in.”