Hearts' Stephen Kingsley aims to joust with Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney for Scotland place
His Scotland ambitions remain fierce after rejuvenating his career at Hearts. An international call-up would be the next step and he is unfazed by the prospect of dislodging Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney.
At present, Kingsley remains a one-cap wonder with time on his side at the age of 26. He made his solitary Scotland appearance under Gordon Strachan as a substitute in a 3-0 friendly defeat by France in Metz back in June 2016.
The full-back was a Swansea City player at the time and subsequently joined Hull City before arriving at Tynecastle Park last October. His initial season-long contract was renewed on Thursday as he committed himself to Hearts until summer 2022.
He is back playing regularly after injuries in England and is the established left-back in Gorgie with five goals in 16 appearances to date.
Scotland recognition is something he still hopes for. If that means pitting himself against Robertson and Tierney, so be it.
“I've been in squads before and made one appearance. That was obviously a very proud moment for me and my family,” said Kingsley.
“I feel if I work as hard as I can and improve as much as I can in club football then that will take care of itself. If I can impress here and do my thing, then that will hopefully lead to a call-up.
“I know being a left-back that there's some heavy competition there. I understand that but I just need to focus on myself and if it comes my way, then brilliant.”
Playing week in and week out is simple but hugely important factor in his renaissance. “Unfortunately my time at Hull was blighted by injuries. It was a team I really wanted to go to coming from Swansea in the Premier League,” he explained.
“I wante to just get my games at Hull and try and kick on again. That didn't happen and it was a tough three years.
“I wanted to make sure coming here to Hearts that I'd get those games that I was craving. Thankfully it's been half a season where I've had a good run and hopefully that continues.”