A Raith Rovers youth prospect is looking forward to continuing his footballing education after being named in the Scotland under-18 schoolboys squad.
Following two extensive trials Kieran Campbell – who has featured in the Raith reserves for the last five months – has been named as part of an 18-man squad set to represent Scotland in next year’s Centenary Shield.
The 17-year-old was delighted to see his name on the list for the tournament, which will see Scotland take on Wales, the Republic of Ireland, holders Northern Ireland and England.
Although picked as a right-back for the Scotland U18 schoolboys squad, partnered by TSB, Campbell actually mainly plays on the right side of midfield for Rovers.
But, happy to help out in any position, versatile Campbell believes that the chance to test himself against the UK’s best young footballers is the perfect stage to show what he can do.
“I was absolutely ecstatic, really honoured and proud,” said Campbell, who lives in Bonnybridge.
“To be picked for any national team is a big achievement, and my family are really proud.
“It was quite nerve-wracking going through the trials, but my confidence was building as it went on, and thankfully I rose to the challenge.
“Just getting to play other countries will be a great experience.
“I’m really looking forward to hopefully putting in some good performances and just trying to impress people.
“I play right-back for the schoolboys side and right midfield for my club. I can also play in the middle, but I like being on the right.
“I’ve been a part of Raith Rovers reserve team for the five months, it shows I am doing things right. I’m training with the first team, and I hope I will be pushing for a starting place soon.”
Taking the reins for the Scotland under-18 schoolboys squad for this season’s Centenary Shield is Billy Henderson, fresh from leading Scotland’s under-15 girls to success in the Bob Docherty Trophy.
And, after the under-18 boys struggled to get off the ground last season, losing all four of their Centenary Shield matches, manager Henderson is looking for a fast start from Campbell.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the girls, and it was a fantastic way for me to end with a wonderful season last time, but I always wanted another crack with the boys,” Henderson said.
“From what I have been told about last season, it was obviously disappointing and it all stemmed from leading 1-0 in the first game against Northern Ireland, only to concede two late goals.
“That defeat had a psychological effect on the boys and hung over them for the rest of the competition and they couldn’t shake it.
“We have two home games to start this season, and it is not only important to win your home games, but also to get off to a fast start, especially after last year.”
TSB, proud partner of the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland U18 schoolboys squad for their 2014 Centenary Shield campaign.
For all the latest squad news, visit the website at scottishfa.co.uk/ssfa