Bournemouth ace Matt Ritchie has been given his first international call-up by Scotland head coach Gordon Strachan.
The Cherries winger has scored 11 goals in 42 appearances this season for the Championship table toppers, and is looking to do all he can to glue to Gordon Strachan’s plans for Scotland – who England-born Ritchie is eligible for via his Scottish father.
Ritchie revealed how Strachan had informed him of the news pragmatically by calling him ‘a few weeks ago’, so as to not unsettle his good form.
“We’ve been doing great in the league and that was really kind of him (Strachan) as it could have affected my performances,” said the new recruit. “I really appreciated that and it allowed me to relax and gave me some confidence.
“It’s great and I’m really excited. When you grow up as a kid, you want to play at the highest level possible and the Scotland squad will be a great experience playing with top players.”
As for being half-English, half-Scottish, where does he feel his blood lies?
“I see myself as English but I’m half Scottish – my dad is Scottish. My Granddad was in the navy, which is what brought him down to Portsmouth but they (grandparents) were both from Edinburgh. They are not with us any more but they would be proud and my dad is also.”
The news follows fellow team-mate in midfield Harry Arter’s call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad last week.