INTERIM Scotland under-21 coach Danny Lennon “left no stone unturned” in the quest to assemble his first squad.
The former St Mirren boss was put in charge last month ahead of the forthcoming friendly against Hungary on March 26 in Budapest
Speaking at Hampden Park, Lennon revealed the “due diligence” involved in collating his 21-man squad, seven of whom are uncapped.
He said: “I have only been four weeks into the job and it has been action-packed. I want to do the best I can.
“I have left no stone unturned. I did my due diligence.
“I have looked at around 60 players, spread over 30 clubs in eight leagues.
“I have talked to the players’ managers, the players themselves, watched games and DVDS.
“It is impossible to take in every single game and have had some fantastic people that have helped me along the way.
“We have a job to do which is to get to the next major tournament and the qualifiers begin in December.
“The players, coaches need to be working together and be focused and the preparation begins at the end of the month against Hungary.
“Whether this is for one game or for a longer period of time...I am certainly preparing myself for the long term.
“I am looking to gel a group of players that are good enough and help them develop to the next level.
“This age group hasn’t qualified for a major tournament for over 20 years and that is something that I would like rectify.”
One of the new faces in Lennon’s squad is Manchester United defender Donald Love.
The 20-year-old, who has represented Scotland at under-17 and under-19 level, was flagged up by Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher, who recently left Old Trafford for West Brom.
“I welcomed that call as I did other calls,” said Lennon.
“I went to see the player and spoke to him on several occasions.
“You don’t play for a big club like Manchester United unless you have ability so we are delighted to have Donald along.
“He has been involved at a younger age and it is another milestone in his career.
“He can play a couple of positions which is always handy. He is a welcome addition.”
Lennon will be helped by SFA coach Donald Park while former Scotland defender Gary Caldwell, who announced his retirement from playing last month, after being unable to recover from a long term hip injury, will also be involved.
The former Cowdenbeath boss said: “Donald Park will assist me and Gary Caldwell will come out and observe but I will get him involved.
“That will be fantastic and the young players will enjoy that.”
Edinburgh has a string representation with six Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian players named - including a first call-up for Hibs striker Jason Cummings.
Hearts’ defender Callum Paterson also returns to the squad alongside Gorgie teammates Jack Hamilton, Jordan McGhee & Sam Nicholson.
Other new faces include Charlie Telfer (Dundee United), Stephen Kingsley (Swansea City), Callum McFadzean (Sheffield United) and Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen).
Scotland Under-21 squad
Goalkeepers: Jack Hamilton (Heart of Midlothian) Jonathan Henly (Reading, on loan at Welling Utd)
Defenders: Stuart Findlay (Celtic) Marcus Fraser (Ross County) Dom Hyam (Reading) Stephen Kingsley (Swansea City, on loan at Yeovil Town) Donald Love (Manchester United) Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian) Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) Callum McFadzean (Sheffield United)
Midfielders: Ryan Christie (Inverness Caledonian Thistle) Danny Handling (Hibernian) John McGinn (St Mirren) Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) Charlie Telfer (Dundee United) Craig Slater (Kilmarnock)
Forwards: Jason Cummings (Hibernian) Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) Ryan Gauld (Sporting Clube de Portugal) Declan McManus (Aberdeen, on loan at Morton) Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen)
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