Hamilton youngster Greg Docherty would consider Ireland switch

Hamilton midfielder Greg Docherty has revealed he is willing to consider a switch of allegiance to the Republic of Ireland after being overlooked again by Scotland Under-21 boss Scot Gemmill.

Hamilton's Greg Docherty. Picture: SNS
Hamilton's Greg Docherty. Picture: SNS

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Accies boss Martin Canning confirmed this week that he called Gemmill to press the call-up case for Docherty and team-mate Scott McMann.

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The duo were left out of the squad for Tuesday’s surprise win over Holland but Canning reckons both players deserved to be involved.

His comments came as it emerged Ireland have made tentative enquires over poaching Docherty, who has two Under-21 caps for Scotland but also qualifies through his Irish grandparents.

Now the 20-year-old has confirmed he will be forced to make a decision over his international future if Gemmill refuses to give him his chance.

“I’ve always known I was eligible for Ireland but if they are sniffing about me then that is very flattering,” said the Accies ace.

“I spent a lot of time as a child in Ireland and I’ve got plenty of relatives over there. That half of the family would be happy if I chose to play for them.

“But whether it ever comes to that I don’t know. There’s been no official approach to me at this moment in time.

“I represented Scotland last year and would like to represent them again, but it if comes to it, you never know.

“It’s something I need to think about and take some time to consider. I wouldn’t jump into a decision like that. I’d prefer to sit down with my family and work out what’s right for me.

“Playing for Ireland would be different. It might be good but I don’t know. I’ll just try to keep playing well for Hamilton and if I catch the eye of these teams then great, if not, I’ll focus on Accies.”

Docherty insists he has not given up hope of changing Gemmill’s mind and thanked club boss Canning for speaking up on his behalf.

“It was disappointing not to be involved,” he said. “I was called up last year so it would have been nice to have been involved this time for the Holland match.

“It was very flattering to hear the manager here at Accies talking up my chances. It’s a nice confidence-booster and can only help me develop even more.

“I can only thank him for fighting my corner. That’s the one thing about Hamilton, they will always stick up for their players and try to promote you.

“I haven’t spoken to Scot. I can’t let the fact I missed out this time affect me. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. There is still time to get into the squad, so I’ll keep performing and hope to catch his eye.

“My main priorities right now are my club side and with Celtic coming up on Friday I need to give that my full focus.”

• Docherty was speaking at the Topps SPFL Match Attax 2017/18 trading card event.