Belfast Telegraph

Scotland v Faroe Islands: Young guns can stake a claim for future says Fletcher

A deluge of call-offs may have demeaned Scotland's friendly tonight against the Faroe Islands for some fans but captain Darren Fletcher declared himself more excited than normal about the encounter as nine players prepare for potential debuts.

Fletcher claims youthful exuberance can light up a cold night in Aberdeen and help produce a star for the future of Scottish football.

Manager Craig Levein has been hit by nine withdrawals for the Pittodrie clash after already naming a squad with an experimental feel.

Danny Wilson, Barry Bannan and David Goodwillie were named in the initial squad for the first time while Kilmarnock goalkeeper Cammy Bell could also win his first cap. Levein has since handed first call-ups to Craig Bryson, Paul Caddis, Murray Davidson, Steven Saunders and James McArthur.

Fletcher believes their excitement can rub off on experienced players and fans alike.

The Manchester United midfielder said: “It's an opportunity for a number of players to stake a claim for their place and for the future of Scottish football.

“They will be excited, there are a lot of them in the squad for the first time. They are good players, they wouldn't be here if they weren't.

“There are a few older, experienced players who will help them through. But they will experience it for themselves, they will enjoy it.

“It's great to see the enthusiasm they bring. Young players don't feel the pressure, they go out there and express themselves and that's what we want them to do.

“We want them to come in and be comfortable and use that youthful exuberance to excite the fans.

“Because of the personnel in the squad, I think it makes it a bit more exciting for myself and everyone else.”

Meanwhile, Faroe Islands manager Brian Kerr could miss tonight’s game after suffering a family bereavement.

The former Republic of Ireland manager has returned to Dublin but may travel back to Aberdeen.

Kerr's assistant, former St Patrick's manager John McDonnell, will take control at Pittodrie if he does not make it.

McDonnell said: "I've got a lot of European experience so that won't be a problem."

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