Che Adams and Scotland: Southampton striker lifts lid on why he said yes this time around

Che Adams watched Scotland celebrate David Marshall’s epic penalty shoot-out save in Serbia and realised – no Scotland, no party.

Scotland's Che Adams during a Scotland training session at Oriam, on March 22, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Scotland's Che Adams during a Scotland training session at Oriam, on March 22, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The striker saw Southampton team-mate Stuart Armstrong and his international squad revel in qualification for this summer’s European Championships and wanted a taste – two years after turning down Alex McLeish’s overtures to join the Tartan Army qualification bid.

Steve Clarke repeated the offer and, on the recommendation of midfielder Armstrong, Adams accepted the latest invitation to join the Scotland party and now plans to find reason for more celebrations marking World Cup qualification success.

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Adams joined up with the squad in Edinburgh this week ahead of Thursday’s opening qualifier with Austria and revealed the role of his team-mate – and the conga video that went viral online – in his decision.

"I had seen the David Marshall video online and as soon as I saw that I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” Adams explained. “The lads look great and have really welcomed me and I can't wait to get going and repay the trust back to the manager.

"Steve Clarke convinced me a lot. I had seen videos online – it's just something I wanted to be a part of and it takes my career to another level and I can't wait to get going.

"It has come at the right time. I know a lot of people will be saying that it is because of the Euros but I don't think that is the case. I held talks with the gaffer and Stu and they recommended it highly so now I just want to be a part of it.

“Back then I was younger and didn't really know my own body and how I would adapt but I think I'm at the right age now.”

Che Adams of Southampton (right) celebrates with Kyle Walker-Peters and Stuart Armstrong (Photo by Will Oliver/Pool via Getty Images)

At 24, Adams is approaching the peak of his powers with Southampton, alongside Armstrong. After three goals in his last four games he is now looking to replicate that form on the international stage – but will need to displace QPR striker Lyndon Dykes first.

The pair have had similarly unconventional routes to the international stage, but it’s a battle Adams won’t mind having progressed his career from non-league football to the verge of a cap call.

“Not many people have come up that way,” he told Scotland’s Facebook page. “It makes you tough and I can handle anything. If I have a niggle I'll just play on, I'm quite old school actually but it is a good mentality to have.

“What you need in squads is to push each other on and get the best out of each other and I am looking forward to it.

"Every game is going to be tough. I think we need to stick together and see what we can do and, hopefully, we can do something great.”

That would be a cause for celebration again, but it won’t quite be the full Scotland experience as recommended by Armstrong with an empty Hampden in prospect on Thursday.

“This is a proud moment for me and I've had loads of messages, the fans have welcomed me with open arms. It's a shame that fans can't be there. I want them to come back as soon as possible and to make my family proud.”

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