France '98: The Scotland 22

Calum Philip weighs the strengths and weaknesses of the party carrying coach Craig Brown's hopes to France
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The Independent Online
Jim Leighton (Aberdeeen), 39, 85 caps

Back at the club where he began after rising, phoenix-like, from the ashes of his Manchester Utd nightmare. The keeper, 40 in July, has played in three World Cup finals. Spare-time business degree student is just as economic on the field, conceding only three goals en route to France.

Neil Sullivan (Wimbledon), 28, 3

Has recovered from the ignominy of being the victim in goal of that David Beckham shot from the halfway line in August 1996 to become an adopted Scot, qualifying through his mother. Has moved up to No 2 choice behind Jim Leighton following Andy Goram's walkout.

Jonathon Gould (Celtic), 29, 0

A year ago, he was in Bradford City reserves; now he is a Scottish league title winner and going to the World Cup. As another player who who opted for Scotland through his forefathers, his own father, Bobby, must wish he could have claimed his son for his struggling Wales side.

Tom Boyd (Celtic), 32, 54

The Celtic captain has had a successful season, lifting two trophies. Pacy runner who is used by Brown as a left wing-back, though he often plays in central defence for his club. Started his career with Motherwell, then moved to Chelsea. Now Scotland's longest serving player.

Colin Calderwood (Spurs), 33, 27

A late arrival on the international scene after spending most of his career at unfashionable clubs like Mansfield and Swindon. The Spurs manager Christian Gross prefers to use him in midfield which doesn't say much about his faith in Calderwood's defensive qualities.

Derek Whyte (Aberdeen), 29, 12

Former Celtic player who proved excess to Bryan Robson's requirements (he was not foreign enough) at Middlesbrough but has flourished since moving to Pittodrie last season. Tough and uncompromising but a tendency to dwell on the ball.

Christian Dailly (Derby County), 24, 9

A child prodigy striker at Dundee Utd who has since successfully converted to central defender. His defensive reputation has grown since moving to Derby in 1996 after turning down a move to Cagliari. Coach Brown launched Dailly on his record run of 52 Under-21 caps.

Matt Elliott (Leicester City), 29, 3

Another to sound more like Barbara Windsor than Billy Connolly, yet at least the Leicester stopper has a mean crewcut. Scottish grandmother would have been proud of Matt's graduation from Oxford to World Cup but there are doubts about his ability to cope with Ronaldo.

Colin Hendry (Blackburn Rovers), 32, 31

Another international latecomer who is now indispensible to Scotland. A fearsome ball winner with blond, flowing locks, his leadership qualities earned him the captaincy following Gary McAllister's injury. Comes from the Highlands, like his cartoon double Hotshot Hamish.

Tosh McKinlay (Celtic), 33, 19

Has spent 10 months out of the Celtic team yet has managed to have the last laugh on Wim Jansen by making the finals and seeing off his boss from Parkhead. Attacking left wing-back who delivers good crosses. Also a fine head-butter, as team-mate Henrik Larsson can testify.

David Weir (Hearts), 27, 5

Ball-playing central defender who likes to operate as libero. Has been a key member in Hearts' fine season. Did not turn professional until 22 after going to college in the US, then spent four years with home-town club Falkirk before moving to Hearts in 1996.

Craig Burley (Celtic), 26, 24

Scottish Player of the Year after a season when his goals helped Celtic to their first title in 10 years. Scored last week against Colombia, too, from central midfield. Moved to Parkhead for pounds 2.5m from Chelsea after Ruud Gullit's cruel treatment of him before the 1997 FA Cup final.

John Collins (Monaco), 30, 48

His neat passing helped Monaco to the 1996-7 French league title and this season's Champions' League semi-finals. Moved to Celtic from Hiber-nian for pounds 1m in 1990, but has only one Scottish Cup medal to show for his six years at Parkhead. His dead-ball skills could come alive in France.

Scot Gemmill (Nottingham Forest), 27, 13

Son of Archie Gemmill, who scored one of the most memorable World Cup goals for Scotland against Holland in 1978. The Nottingham Forest midfielder has struggled to make the same impact as his father. He is a more refined player, though he lacks the gritty determination.

Paul Lambert (Celtic), 27, 11

Left Motherwell as a free agent in 1996 and found his way to Borussia Dortmund, with whom he won the Champions' League. The German club brought out the defensive capabilities in Lambert and the Scots use him in the same way. Returned to Celtic for pounds 2m.

Billy McKinlay (Blackburn Rovers), 29, 25

The Scots are relying on Blackburn's midfield terrier to fill the role vacated by Gary McAllis-ter. Combative player who has had a fine season at Ewood where he moved in 1996 from Dundee Utd. McKinlay has a strong long-range shot and has scored four times for Scotland.

Jackie McNamara (Celtic), 24, 6

McNamara was part of the Scotland Under-21 side that finished fourth in the 1996 European Championship. He has now returned to right side of midfield after several seasons at full-back. Joined Celtic from Dunfermline in 1995 for pounds 650,000 and has a ballet dancer for a brother.

Simon Donnelly (Celtic), 23, 7

Another Under-21 graduate. Burst into Celtic side four years ago with flurry of goals. Then suffered as expensive strikers came and went, including, most recently, Harald Brattbakk, as Wim Jansen turned to the home-grown player for vital goals. Can also play wide on the right.

Gordon Durie (Rangers), 32, 40

Fought back after suffering horrific head injury in February which sidelined him for six weeks. Battling, energetic striker who spent six years in England with Chelsea and Spurs before joining his beloved Rangers in 1991 for pounds 1.5m. Likeliest partner for Kevin Gallacher against Brazil.

Kevin Gallacher (Blackburn Rovers), 31, 35

The man whose goals fired Scotland to the finals (seven in the last six qualifying ties) scored 20 times for Blackburn last season. Started with Dundee Utd, scoring a memorable winner as a teenager in 1987 against Barcelona, before joining Coventry. Has suffered two broken legs.

Darren Jackson (Celtic), 31, 23

Career hung in the balance, life-threateningly so, after discovery last September that he needed brain surgery. Hard worker who unsettles defenders. Started at Meadowbank Thistle, then went to Newcastle, Dundee Utd and Hib-ernian before a pounds 1.5m move to Celtic last year.

Scott Booth (Borussia Dortmund), 26, 16

Was back in contention after leaving Borussia Dortmund to join FC Utrecht on loan, netting five goals in five games. Had only two starts in Germany and scored twice but wanted first-team action. Started with home-town side Aberdeen where he played for seven years.

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