Who is Ben Doak? Scotland Euro 2024 wildcard dubbed 'Tasmanian Devil' and his journey from Celtic to Liverpool

Scotland Under-21 star promoted to senior squad for Euros

Liverpool youngster Ben Doak has earned a first senior Scotland call-up after being named in Steve Clarke’s provisional squad for Euro 2024.

The 18-year-old has been included as a surprise wildcard in a 28-man squad, which will be whittled down to 26 for the tournament in Germany following the upcoming training camp which includes warm-up friendlies against Gilbraltar and Finland.

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Doak has not played since suffering a knee injury in a Premier League 2 match against Chelsea in mid-December which required surgery, but he returned to full training with Liverpool before the end of the season in time to earn a dream call-up to the national side.

Ben Doak in action for Liverpool during a Europa League match against Toulouse in November. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)Ben Doak in action for Liverpool during a Europa League match against Toulouse in November. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Ben Doak in action for Liverpool during a Europa League match against Toulouse in November. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Prior to his injury, Doak had been given increased exposure to the Liverpool first team under Jurgen Klopp, making a total of 10 appearances since joining from Celtic two years ago. Clarke had planned to call Doak up earlier in the campaign before injury struck and he will now be given his chance to impress at a major finals, providing he makes the final cut.

Doak is regarded as one of Scotland’s brightest prospects and was a regular for the Under-21s prior to his injury. Pacey and skilful, the confident teenager will bring a different dimension to the Scotland attack with an added element of brashness and unpredictability.

He has been described as a “Tasmanian Devil” by Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk. “He’s very exciting, very direct, one-on-one. I call him a Tasmanian Devil with the way he is buzzing around, he’s just so quick. If his decision making gets better - and he has all the time in the world for that - then he could definitely be one for the future.”

Born in the small town of Dalry, North Ayrshire, Doak is the grandson of Martin Doak, the former Morton player of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He joined Ayr United at the age of eight before being snapped up by Celtic.

After impressing in the youth ranks at Parkhead, Doak made his first senior appearance for Celtic at the age of just 16, coming off the bench to replace Reo Hatate in a 1-0 win over Dundee on January 29, 2022. His second appearance, and Old Firm debut, followed just four days later when he was brought on towards the end of a 3-0 win over Rangers at Celtic Park. It was also his final appearance for Celtic as Liverpool made their move.

A switch to Anfield was completed in March 2022 with Celtic receiving training compensation of around £600,000. Signed with the intention of featuring for the Reds’ Under-18s, his rise to the Liverpool first-team can be described as meteoric.

Just eight months after joining the Merseyside club, the young winger made his first-team debut as a substitute in a Carabao Cup match against Derby County and impressed enough to be taken to Dubai with Klopp’s squad for a 10-day training camp in Dubai during the World Cup.

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Doak continued to earn minutes in the Premier League and FA Cup and finished the 2022/23 season with five first-team matches under his belt. Another five appearances followed in the opening months of the current campaign including three starts in the Europa League group stages. He was rewarded with a new long-term contract before injury struck.

The future looks bright for Doak with the prospect of enchancing his growing reputation at Euro 2024 where he could become the youngest ever player to feature at a major tournament for Scotland and the youngest debutant in almost a century if he features in the upcoming friendlies.

“Ben’s obviously got a lot of talent, he catches your eye,” said head coach Clarke as he explained his selection. “The pace is something we haven’t got an abundance of in the squad. He’s something a little bit different. He’s a young man, he’s got a lot to learn in the game.

“I’ve never had the chance to work closely with Ben, but it just felt like the right opportunity to put him in. The squad going from 23 to 26 just made it something I thought I should do, so we’ll have a look at Ben and see how he does.”



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