Kasper Schmeichel has revealed he still looks out for the results of the team he spent a short spell on loan at 14 years ago.
Now in the third tier, Falkirk were then a top-flight side under the charge of John Hughes. Schmeichel yesterday explained the debt of gratitude he owes the currently out of work former Hibs manager, who took a chance on signing him on loan from Manchester City. Schmeichel made his debut in a 1-0 win over Dunfermline in January 2007 and made 17 appearances in total for the Bairns before returning to his parent club.
He agreed to two further loan spells at Coventry City and Charlton before cutting ties with City and relaunching his career at Notts County. He has since won the Premier League title and FA Cup with Leicester City and has made 71 appearances to date for Denmark.
His latest cap will arrive in tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland, which prompted the 34-year-old to reminisce about his time at the Falkirk stadium under the man known as “Yogi”. Schmeichel clearly still has a lot of affection for both Hughes and the club.
“Playing in Scotland was a massive part of my development,” he said. “At that age to have a manager in John Hughes who trusted me to come and play in the Scottish Premier League for a side that wanted to play football, and the way the club was run, it was perfect for me at the time.
“I enjoyed my time up there,” he added. “I met some amazing people who I am still in contact with. I am just very, very grateful that the club and the manager in particular took me under his wing and looked after me really well, the coaching staff, goalkeeper coach, everyone, they had a great part in my career.
“I still always look for Falkirk’s results as with most of the clubs I played for. And I only look back with fond memories.”
Schmeichel will not let any sentiment get in the way of the target of a victory in tonight’s Group D clash.
“Nothing is a given in these types of games and Scotland have been in a good period these last few years,” he said. “We know it will be a difficult game, as has been mentioned before. It is an opponent that doesn’t suffer the type of beatings we would like to give them.
“They are always tight games and they have great quality all over the pitch. They have players at some big clubs and like I say, we are wary – but our focus is mainly on us. We are confident but we are full of respect.”
Danish manager Kasper Hjulmand, meanwhile, has provided an update on the Christian Eriksen situation. The Denmark playmaker suffered a cardiac arrest in his side’s opening Euro 2020 game in June and has been undergoing tests.
“We are in close contact with Christian,” he said. “In the circumstances he is OK. Everything that comes out about him, it is Christian’s words, it is Christian’s pace.
“We follow him but we are close to Christian, the players are close to him. I am in contact with Christian. Everything that there is to say will come from Christian.”