Rhodes in dreamland after call-up by Scotland

Striker fulfils boyhood ambition after Levein promotes him from U21 squad to face Cyprus.

The Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes has described his call-up to Craig Levein's Scotland squad as the fulfilment of a dream.

Oldham-born Rhodes, who qualifies for Scotland through the five-year schooling rule, has scored 14 goals in his last seven games, five of them for Billy Stark's Scotland Under-21s side.

He has been rewarded with a place in Levein's squad for the friendly with Cyprus in Larnaca next Friday and will then immediately join up with the under-21s for their European qualifier with the Netherlands on 14 November.

The 21-year-old said: "It's a real honour to be picked for the senior squad. Just five months ago I wasn't involved in any kind of international football so to be part of the set-up and to get some recognition from the senior squad is a boyhood dream.

"There was a bit of media talk and speculation about a potential call-up but I tried my best not to let it affect me and to remain completely focused on my club football until the squad was officially announced. To be in the pockets of the likes of Darren Fletcher and Charlie Adam for the week will be a fantastic experience.

"They are household names and play at massive clubs but the team is littered with some great players so I'm looking forward to getting an insight into how they go about their work and I hope to learn from them. I can't wait to meet up with the squad."

James Forrest was left out after Stark "pleaded" with Levein to allow the Celtic winger to play for the under-21s in Nijmegen on 14 November.

But Rhodes will hope to make his debut in Cyprus and then help Scotland Under-21s cut the gap at the top of Group 10 to the Netherlands, who have maximum points from three games.

Rhodes added: "It will be an exciting few weeks for me. The senior squad and the under-21s both have difficult games but this is a dream come true for me and I'm looking forward to being a part of something which is a little out of the ordinary for me in terms of being part of the Scotland senior squad.

"The Netherlands will of course provide us with a tough game and we will have to be at our best if we want to get a result out there.

"Any away game is difficult but to play the Dutch in their own country will not be an easy task as they have some fantastic players. However, we will be focused and hopefully can get the right result."

Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton have been recalled to the Australia squad for two World Cup qualifiers with their coach Holger Osieck warning that he expected "a lot more" from them than they had shown in their club outings this season.

Two of Australia's most experienced internationals, forward Kewell and midfielder Emerton missed out on the win over Oman in October after returning home to play their club football in the A-League at Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC respectively.

"I thought they had to get settled in their new environment but now with a couple of games having been played, I thought I want to include them again," Osieck told a news conference in Sydney. "Although I have to admit, and I want to make this very clear, that I expect a lot more of them other than they have produced so far.

"But knowing of their value and what they bring to the team, I invited them to be part of our trip to Oman and Thailand."

Australia are scheduled to play Oman in Muscat next Friday and Thailand four days later in Bangkok as they look to maintain their perfect start to their campaign to qualify for a third straight World Cup finals in 2014.

Osieck said there was "no guarantee at all" that Emerton, who has played 89 times for his country and Kewell, who has won 54 international caps, would play in either fixture. "Whoever shows the right performance in training has the chance to be nominated for the game," the German added.

Aston Villa defender Chris Herd was the only uncapped player included in the squad, while Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer could win his 93rd cap.

With five players on yellow cards and one further caution away from a suspension after the three victories in three games, Osieck said he would be "calculating" which players he picked from the 23-man squad. One thing that was not up for debate, however, was the way the Socceroos would be expected to approach the two away fixtures. "We go there to win the games, don't ask me about how many points are necessary or whatever, we go there to win," Osieck said firmly.

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
i100
Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album