Someone Old, Someone New....
Updated Tuesday, 23rd February 2010
A new manager's first squad always is inspected closely for the unexpected name. Garry Kenneth is the one under the spotlight this time around.
Dundee United defender Garry Kenneth appearance in the Scotland squad announced by Craig Levein appears to make been the most controversial selection for Scotland fans. They are not the only ones to be surprised by his inclusion as the player admits his surprise Scotland call-up caught him off guard as well. Kenneth joins team-mates Paul Dixon and Andy Webster in former Tannadice manager Levein's first squad, to face the Czech Republic on 3 March. The surprise factor is that Kenneth struggled to hold down a regular place under Levein early this season although he has been a mainstay in the United back four over the last three months. The centre-back said: "This season I have been concentrating on holding down a regular place with United. Like everyone, it's an ambition to play for Scotland, but it hasn't been in my thoughts this year and I thought it might be something for the future. I am really happy, though, and now it's up to me to make the most of this chance."
Left-back Dixon had held out more hope for a call-up, with Lee Wallace and Danny Fox both making Scotland debuts in his position in recent games during the absence of Gary Naysmith thanks to a cruciate ligament injury. Dixon said: "When I hurt my ankle the other week, I thought that was my chance of being named in the gaffer's first squad gone, but I have just been told I'm in and it's brilliant news. Now, if I get a chance to get on the pitch next week, it's up to me to play the way I was playing for him at United."
Charlie Adam is delighted to have been called into Levein's first squad. He was not considered for what turned out to be George Burley's last game in charge, a 3-0 friendly defeat by Wales. Adam won his third cap in the 2-0 defeat in Japan in October after an exile of more than two years. The midfielder scored his 13th goal of the season during Blackpool's win over Reading on Saturday and is keen to make his mark against the Czechs, who are among Scotland's EURO2012 qualifying rivals. Adam said: "I'm obviously very happy that I've managed to get in his first squad. There have been many changes since my last game and I'm looking forward to linking up with the team again. Craig's a good manager who has a reputation for getting teams playing well and I just hope, with the quality that we've got in the squad, that he can kick us on. We just need to get some good results in the friendly games and then look forward to the qualification games when they come round. It will give us an indication of the players that we're going to play against and the quality that they have, so it should be a good match. The squad that has been picked is strong and the majority of the lads are playing in England now and that shows how well they've been doing. It just shows how well Scottish football is with the amount of players who have come down from Scotland into the Championship and Premier League."