DCSIMG

Craig Levein to set up database of every player eligible for Scotland

CRAIG Levein has revealed plans to compile a definitive dossier of every single player eligible to represent Scotland at national level.

• Levein was unveiled as Scotland manager last month

The unprecedented search for Scottish talent will see Levein and his scout Michael Oliver contact every agent in the United Kingdom in a bid to assess who could be a future star for the country.

The Scotland team boss – who replaced George Burley at the helm last month – is keen to establish who is eligible for the Scots either through established bloodline or the new Home Nations agreement.

Levein, 45, will take charge of the team for the first time in a friendly against Czech Republic at Hampden in March.

And he is keen to make the most of the resources available to him as he attempts to transform the fortunes of a nation who have not qualified for a major finals since 1998.

"What we are trying to do is establish everybody – in the UK first and foremost – who is eligible to play for Scotland," he told the SFA website.

"In the past, we've relied on word of mouth or maybe speaking to managers, coaches and, sometimes, even physios down in England who say 'do you know so-and-so has a Scottish grandmother?'

"In the past we've had some fantastic players for Scotland who were born in England but qualified through parentage or grandparents.

"The rules are there and every other country in the world uses them.

"My main aim is to help Scotland qualify for the European Championships in 2012 and, in order to achieve that, I think that the player database is a fairly sensible idea.

"I want the best players available and, to get the best players available, we need to know who they are and where they are."

Reports at the weekend suggested Wigan midfielder James McCarthy could switch allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to Scotland if approached by Levein.

The 19-year-old has yet to represent his adopted nation at full international level – meaning he could yet make a dramatic U-turn and represent the country of his birth instead.

Levein has also paved the way for Rangers striker Kris Boyd to return to the national fold, as well as "Boozegate" duo Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.

 
 
 

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