Kevin Nisbet reveals Scotland near-misses as Hibs striker fulfils promise to late father
Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet has revealed that he promised his dad during one of the last conversations the pair shared that he would earn a Scotland call-up.
Dad Thomas had been diagnosed with liver cancer, and passed away in October last year just days before Hibs’ Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts, with the striker insisting on playing his part in the match despite the immense personal toll.
This week he was named in Steve Clarke's squad for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Austria, Israel, and the Faroe Islands, meeting a personal target but also fulfilling the promise he made to his dad.
Speaking to Hibs TV after earning his maiden call-up, he said: “One of the last conversations we had, he told me to get myself in the Scotland squad and I’m very happy to fulfil that promise I made to him.
"I’ve had a stop-start first half of the year and to come in and score on Saturday then get called up – I’m just delighted and I think I’ve made my family very proud.”
The 24-year-old has been on the cusp of a first senior call-up for quite some time, revealing that he had already come close to inclusion in the national team squad.
"I’ve been there or thereabouts a few times this season and just not made the cut so I’m delighted to make it this time,” he said.
"You get a fitness-for-duty form two weeks before the squad gets announced. You’re basically on a list and in contention, and then it gets cut down to the final squad.
"I’ve not made it a few times but I’m delighted to make it today.”
Nisbet paid tribute to his Easter Road team-mates who have helped him reach his current total of 14 goals in all competitions, as well as providing a support network off the pitch.
"I was hiding in the dressing room after the announcement. I walked into the canteen and Martin Boyle started banging on the table and all the boys went mental.
"They’re all delighted for me because they know I’ve had a very tough year.”
After a stuttering start to his senior career, Nisbet is now fully focused on continuing his extraordinary rise that has taken him from League 1 to international football in just two years.
He continued: “I had a rocky start to my career – a few loan spells didn't work out, and a lot of people counted me out. I’ve come from back that in the last few seasons and gone from strength to strength and now I’ve got a call-up.
Now he has made the cut, Nisbet intends to make the most of his opportunity – especially with the Euros on the horizon.
He added: “I think the pinnacle of anyone's career is getting a call-up and recognition from the national team.
"I’ve done that but I think that was the easy part; the hard part now is staying in the squad and trying to get into the Euros squad.”