Hibs hitman Oli Shaw hopes to add to his football family’s pride by making his Scotland Under-21s debut against Andorra at Tynecastle tonight.
Shaw’s father Greg and his grandfather Dick are both former strikers and have followed the teenager’s career closely. They will be in Gorgie for this evening’s European Championship qualifier before travelling to the Dutch town of Doetinchem as Scot Gemmill’s youngsters face the Netherlands on Tuesday. Shaw hopes to make it a special few days for his doting supporters.
“My grandad’s delighted for me,” said Shaw. “He follows me everywhere. Aberdeen away, wherever I’m playing, him and my dad will travel. He’s bursting with pride at me getting into the 21s and he’ll be at Tynecastle. My dad, my grandpa and my other grandad will all be in Holland as well. They’re all going across. It’ll be nice for me to see them over there so hopefully I can play a part in the game and we get a result. Me and my grandad have always been close because he’s a big football man. He’s followed me since a young age and he’s always given me tips because he used to play as well.”
Shaw, who turns 20 later this month, is full of confidence ahead of his international debut after starting six of his club’s 11 competitive matches this season. He has already scored three goals to take his total senior career tally to 15 – eight for Hibs and seven on loan at Stenhousemuir.
He is grateful to Neil Lennon for placing his faith in him while Jamie Maclaren and Florian Kamberi continue their search for form and fitness.
“As a striker, scoring goals is always important so I’m pleased with my start,” said Shaw. “The confidence grows massively when the gaffer’s picking you. We’ve got some experienced boys I’ve been playing with, so that’s brilliant for me. You learn a lot of different things from playing first team that you wouldn’t in the reserve league or whatever.
“It’s massively important that I take any chance I get in the first team. Flo and Jamie were prolific last year and built up a good partnership but the opportunity’s always there to break in, the gaffer’s always said that. If you’re doing well and scoring goals, you’ll always get the opportunity to play.”