Steve Clarke has eye on future with call-up for ex-Hibs youngster Josh Doig
Steve Clarke brought former Hibs defender Josh Doig into the international set-up with a view of establishing a pathway between the under-21s and senior squad, the Scotland boss revealed.
The 20-year-old was included for the first time after captaining Scot Gemmill’s youngsters to a 3-1 win over Northern Ireland on Thursday afternoon.
With Kieran Tierney, Greg Taylor and Aaron Hickey all capable of playing on the left side of a back four, it seems unlikely Doig is going to earn his first cap either this weekend at Hampden or in the trip to Poland next Tuesday for the final game against Ukraine.
However, for Clarke it’s important in the long run to get the more talented Scottish youngsters experience of being around the squad.
“I tried to bring in a young one in Josh,” said Clarke ahead of this weekend’s meeting with the Irish at Hampden. “I’m trying to say to the younger ones that there is a pathway because I want to have younger players in the squad.
“I don’t want it to be that they all grow old together and then you throw it away and start again. I want to try to build that continuity where the next group – and maybe the next head coach – has a group of players with experience in and around the national squad.
Clarke has also been impressed with the impact Doig has made at club level since choosing to swap Easter Road for Serie A this past summer in a multi-million pound move.
“He’s got a goal already, he’s got some starts. It’s great lifestyle experience for him as well as a great professional experience,” he said.
“This is the first time I’ve worked with Josh, and the first time I’ve met him today. He comes across as a very polite, impressionable young man. I was impressed.
“He did a little bit of training but we didn’t do much out there. He played 90 minutes yesterday anyway.
“It’s nice to have him in the squad, it’s nice to meet different people and to know what their qualities are as people first and foremost.”