Scotland Under-19 and Chelsea central defender Alex Davey has told of his delight at making his first appearance in a dark blue shirt in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Germany at The Falkirk Stadium.
Born in Cambridgeshire but eligible to play for Scotland through his grandfather Stan, hwas recruited through Scottish FA performance director Mark Wotte’s ‘Talent ID' system earlier this year.
Describing his first turn-out for Scotland, 18-year-old Alex said: “It was a great experience for me.
“Being able to test myself against quality opposition like Germany will be good for my development and for the team.”
Alex, who was man of the match in last season’s FA Youth Cup Final, admitted playing international football had not been on his mind while playing club football but was excited at receiving the call from under-19 national coach Ricky Sbragia.
“Being called up to play for Scotland has been an incredible experience,” he added.
“I was simply enjoying playing my football and if international football came along, it came along.”
Playing for a European heavyweight such as Chelsea means Alex brings experience of training with top professionals.
“I have trained with players such as John Terry who has been great with me,” he said.
“He’s not aware I’ve been called up to play for Scotland, I don’t think.”
Scotland battled hard against a top German youth side in front of a crowd of nearly 900 and Alex said he was impressed with the harmony of the under-19 camp.
“They’re all a great bunch of lads,” he said. “There is a great vibe in the camp which Ricky and the team create.”
Scotland Under-19s embark on their UEFA Under-19 European Championship qualifying campaign in October and Alex said he hoped to be involved.
Scotland Under-19 national coach Ricky Sbragia said his team will have gained invaluable experience from testing themselves against the elite of world youth football.
Sbragia’s side narrowly lost 1-0 to Germany at The Falkirk Stadium yesterday afternoon but the former Manchester United coach reckons the young Scots should be challenging themselves against the very best.
“From my point of view, I’d rather we play against a team like this than play a lesser team and win 4-0 and get carried away,” he said.
“I said to the team after the game that we had just played against one of the best teams in Europe and could have easily collapsed after the 51st minute goal.
“But they didn’t, their heads didn’t go down.”
Sbragia said his is intention was to play from the back but that the plan was severely tested as the Nationalmannschaft exerted large amounts of pressure when the Scots had the ball.
“This German side has been playing together for seven or eight years ,” he added. “They are extremely well drilled and are comfortable with each other.
“I think we do extremely well at under-19 level. I’m sure as the Scottish FA’s elite performance strategy begins to become integrated that we will see our youth teams playing at a higher level.”