International news

Hanley and Maguire get chance

February 1, 2011

Blackburn defender Grant Hanley and Aberdeen striker Chris Maguire have been handed first Scotland call-ups for the Carling Nations Cup opener against Northern Ireland.

Leeds winger Robert Snodgrass has also been drafted into the pool for next Wednesday's clash in Dublin. There is no place for Dundee United striker David Goodwillie, who made his debut in the 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands in November.

Scotland manager Craig Levein believes Hanley has a big future in the game and is excited by the prospect of seeing him in action for the national team.

He said: "Grant is a young lad who has impressed in the short time he has been involved in the Premier League matches. I've watched him four times and he has all the attributes to be a top-class centre-back.''

Goodwillie was recently charged with a serious sexual assault.

Levein said of his absence from the squad: "It's an awkward situation to be placed in. He has a cloud hanging over his head just now. I thought long and hard about it and I believe I've made the right decision.''

On the tournament itself, Levein added: "From day one my intention was to win the competition and I think this is a strong squad.''

Scotland squad for Carling Nations Cup match against Northern Ireland, Wednesday, February 9, Aviva Stadium, Dublin (0745 kick-off):

Charlie Adam (Blackpool), Barry Bannan (Aston Villa), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Cameron Bell (Kilmarnock), Christophe Berra (Wolves), Scott Brown (Celtic), Gary Caldwell (Wigan), Kris Commons (Celtic), Graham Dorrans (WBA), Darren Fletcher (Man Utd), Craig Gordon (Sunderland), Grant Hanley (Blackburn), Alan Hutton (Tottenham), Chris Maguire (Aberdeen), Lee McCulloch (Rangers), Allan McGregor (Rangers), Kenny Miller (Bursaspor), James Morrison (WBA), Steven Naismith (Rangers), Robert Snodgrass (Leeds), Danny Wilson (Liverpool), Mark Wilson (Celtic).