Football: The Roxburgh tartan

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The Independent Online
NECESSITY rather than nationalism will prompt Andy Roxburgh to name an all-tartan team for Scotland's friendly international against Germany at Ibrox a week tomorrow. The squad he announced yesterday even includes one player, Aberdeen's Brian Grant, who was born at Bannockburn.

With a full league programme south of the border next week, the Scotland coach was unable to call on the three Anglos involved in last month's World Cup victory over Malta - Gary McAllister (who is injured anyway), Pat Nevin and Bryan Gunn - or, indeed, Derek Whyte and Kevin Gallacher.

The 21 from whom Roxburgh will choose against the world champions - who have all their Italian- based players available - are therefore drawn exclusively from the Scottish Premier Division.

They include six uncapped players: Grant, his club-mates Stephen Wright, Scott Booth and Duncan Shearer, plus Nicky Walker, the Heart of Midlothian goalkeeper, and the Hibernian striker Darren Jackson. Wright, an unflappable right-back, is the most likely to face Germany.

Booth also has a good chance of playing, perhaps in the vacancy created by the injury to Scotland's outstanding player against Malta, Eoin Jess. While lacking his Aberdeen colleague's finesse, Booth is quick and brave and has been a prolific scorer for the Under-21 side.

Grant, Jackson and Walker, though likely to be on the bench, offer proof of the value of perseverance. Grant, a grafter in the Kevin Richardson mould, is 28; Jackson had an unproductive spell at Newcastle, where he played alongside Paul Gascoigne, and is now 26; while Walker, 30, started the season as understudy to Henry Smith at Tynecastle.

Probable starters include the Rangers midfielders Stuart McCall, who has missed Scotland's last two games through injury, and Ian Durrant, who on Saturday played his first full match since 2 January. Durrant should be fresh, having had a week's holiday recently to get over a draining legal action.

Scotland last fielded a totally home-based team in the 3-2 defeat of Canada in 1983 during the Jock Stein era. In 1978, Stein sent out an English-based XI against Norway, the Scots again winning 3-2.

Berti Vogts, the Germany coach, has opted for experience as he builds towards the United States in 1994. His 18 features only one uncapped player, the defender Ralf Weber. Lothar Matthaus, the captain of West Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning side, is back to full fitness following a serious knee injury last year and there is a surprise recall for Uwe Bein, 32, another veteran of Italia '90.

SCOTLAND SQUAD (friendly v Germany, Ibrox Park, Glasgow, 24 March: Goram (Rangers), Walker (Hearts); Wright (Aberdeen), Boyd (Celtic), Malpas (Dundee Utd), Levein, McLaren (both Hearts), McLeish (Aberdeen, capt), McPherson; D Robertson (both Rangers), Grant (Aberdeen), Collins (Celtic), Durrant, McCall (both Rangers), McStay (Celtic); McCoist (Rangers), Jackson (Hibernian), Ferguson (Dundee Utd), Booth (Aberdeen), J Robertson (Hearts), Shearer (Aberdeen).

GERMANY: Goalkeepers: Kopke (Nuremburg), Illgner (Cologne); Defenders: Buchwald (VfB Stuttgart), Helmer (Borussia Dortmund), Thon (Bayern Munich), Kohler (Juventus), Weber (Eintracht Frankfurt); Midfielders: Bein (Eintracht Frankfurt), Doll (Lazio), Effenberg (Fiorentina), Hassler (Roma), Matthaus (Bayern Munich, capt), Moller (Juventus), Sammer, Zorc (both Borussia Dortmund); Forwards: Klinsmann (Monaco), Riedle (Lazio), Thom (Bayer Leverkusen).

SCOTLAND UNDER-21 SQUAD (friendly v Iceland, Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, 23 March): Howie (Clyde), Will (Arsenal), Tweed (Hibs), Pressley, Murray (both Rangers), McNally (Celtic), Skilling (Kilmarnock), Henry (Clydebank), Allan (Ayr Utd), Baker (St Mirren), Murray (Bournemouth), Laverty (St Mirren), Johnston (Falkirk), Flannigan (Clydebank), McGinlay (Hibernian), McLaren (Dundee Utd), Dow (Dundee), Dailly (Dundee Utd), Dickov (Arsenal), Hagen (Rangers), Roddie (Aberdeen).