Ryan Porteous wasn’t even born the last time Scotland qualified for a major finals.
But he says they are well positioned to remedy that and believes they can come through the postponed play-offs, whenever they are played.
Gunning for a place in the squad by the time the finals roll around next summer, he believes his U21 team-mate Billy Gilmour can also force his way into Steve Clarke’s plans before then.
The Chelsea youngster was building up a head of steam prior to the season shutdown, earning rave reviews for domestic and European performances. And while Porteous enjoyed watching his international colleague shine, he said he wasn’t surprised, having played against the diminutive 18-year-old for years. “Every time I’ve played against him, you could see that he was a tremendous talent and he has just got better and better and it doesn’t seem like he will be stopping any time soon. I’m delighted for him but it’s not a surprise for me that he has turned out to be this good.
“He is a player that if you looked at him and chose to judge a book by it’s cover then you might be surprised. You see him play and quickly realise that he is really quick, he’s fantastic on the ball and, to be fair, he is pretty decent in the air for his height, he gets tore in and it has been brilliant to play with him at the 21s.
“He has done a great job for us and he is a role model for a lot of people as well. He is always out on the pitch doing extra training. It shows what you can achieve if you really put your mind to it and work hard.
“I watched his game against Liverpool and I thought he was brilliant. But he didn’t do anything in that game that he doesn’t already do for Scotland U21s. He bosses the midfield and has great composure. His technical ability is ridiculous. Hopefully he can progress and show that in the Scotland first team soon.”
• Ryan Porteous was speaking as Hibernian launched season tickets for the next season. Find out more at seasontickets.hibernianfc.org.uk