LOCAL lad and Arbroath FC midfielder Scott Fullerton has waited longer than most for his chance to shine on the international stage and he admits he’s not willing to let it slip this time.
Fullerton was one of 18 to earn selection for the Lloyds TSB Scotland Under-18s squad for the 2013 Centenary Shield after a successful final trial at Toryglen Regional Football Centre.
The 17-year-old, who plays on the right wing, fell short at the same stage this time last year and revealed the devastation he felt drove him on to succeed 12 months on.
Opening their campaign away to Northern Ireland on February 22, followed by a trip to Wales, the Scottish Under-18s welcome the Republic of Ireland in March before the clash with England on April 12.
And with a point to prove, Arbroath midfielder Fullerton can’t wait to finally don the famous blue jersey in just over two months time. “I got to this stage last year at the final trials and I didn’t get in, so I was a little bit more nervous and desperate to get in this year,” said Scott. “And I think missing out last year helped.
“I knew what to expect and what the process involves. I was devastated after missing out last year, I remember coming off the pitch and being upset but I think that helps you and it’s about how you react.
“I’ve reacted well with my club side and I’ve done well to get in now. This is the biggest moment of my career so far, without a doubt.
“I took a bit of a knock to the confidence last year but it’s all coming together now, and hopefully this can help me get that first-team contract at the end of the season with Arbroath.
“I can’t wait to pull on that [Scotland] jersey, it is every schoolboy’s dream. I have been waiting since I was about four-years-old and it’s finally happened.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to playing in front of the bigger crowds and I think this will be great for my future development.”
Head coach Stewart Taylor, who has been involved with the Scottish youth set-up since 1991, admits his latest troops have a great chance of repeating 2011’s successful campaign.
But he believes the likes of Fullerton will benefit from their taste of international football whether they lift the 2013 Centenary Shield or not. “Some of these lads have probably had the opportunity to turn professional but they have already declined the opportunity and stayed on at school,” said Taylor.
“And we feel it’s only right that they get the chance to sample international football of a high standard. I think it contributes vastly to their overall development, both as footballers and as young men as well.
“And the feedback we get from the boys historically has always been great.”
Lloyds TSB Scotland, proud partner for the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland Under 18 schoolboys’ squad for their 2013 Centenary Shield campaign. For all the latest squad news, visit scottishfa.co.uk/ssfa