Last weekend I made my international debut. Representing your country is every young boy’s dream. The thing is, I don’t play for a club and stopped playing football for four years at school because my legs hurt so much after matches.

I thought my legs were weak but no matter how hard I trained (my top-half seemed to sprout okay) it never made a difference. In fact, it made it worse.

Then I joined the Scottish FA as a Modern Apprentice and got invited to the Wednesday staff game at Lesser Hampden. It all started back in January.

The Scottish FA National Development Manager, David McArdle, came over to watch the game. He brought me into his office afterwards for a quick meeting – which I thought was to help Football Development as part of my work duties at Hampden.

He said he noticed something in my running style at the Christmas match and had kept an eye on me. It turns out the lack of full rotation on my right arm and a right leg that seemed to swing was not just weakness but a medical condition that I had not even been aware of.

He then asked if I fancied playing for Scotland. I was taken aback when he then explained I was eligible for the Cerebral Palsy team. I’m conscious that such terms can come with a stigma but if anything it helped explain the physical ailments I had since I was a kid but put down to physical weakness. It all made sense.

I spoke to my family and my mum, not unsurprisingly, was as shocked as I was by a diagnosis on a football pitch. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it: to play football at the highest level I could, to play for my country, to play in finals. Also, without sounding clichéd, to maybe help other people who have experienced the pain I have had and never really understood what it meant and to show them that it doesn’t need to hold you back or stop you fulfilling your potential.

It is understandable that some people have responded differently, to maybe get angry, annoyed or upset and say “there’s nothing wrong with me”. Today, I am a 17-year-old who works in Scottish football and plays for his country. There is not a lot wrong with that.

The last few months have been a rollercoaster: I went from playing a weekly game with my work colleagues to making my international debut.

Last weekend, I earned my first two caps for Scotland in a double-header against Northern Ireland and now I have the prospect of going to Denmark for the next international.

As you can imagine, walking into a dressing room full of boys that I had never met, left me feeling a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. I’m not going to lie, it was scary at first, but the lads were brilliant, they made me feel welcome as soon as I walked in. They’re always having a laugh and always helping you to improve, giving you tips on what you could’ve done better and what to do the next time. Any nerves I had about meeting them were gone in the first couple of minutes.The training camp was superb. We typically got up around 7am, had breakfast for 8am, and then left for training at 9am. We had two training sessions per day Friday and Saturday, and then only one on the Sunday. What I loved most about the camps, was how motivated everybody was, everyone wanted to get better. The coaches helped a lot, even when you weren’t having the best of days they always managed to get your chin up and get you going again. Thankfully I performed well enough at the training camp, and was selected to play in the friendlies against Northern Ireland.

We met up on the Friday afternoon for training and then left for the hotel. When I woke up on the Saturday morning, the nerves were really starting to settle in.

Walking into the dressing room, seeing all the jerseys hanging up, knowing that you will be playing for your country, I’m not sure if there is another feeling quite like it. The sense of pride you feel when stepping on to the pitch is incredible.

We dominated straight from kick off and managed to win 5-1, following up the following day with a 5-2 victory. I have to admit that I didn’t score but thanks to a chance meeting with David and an open mind, I have now set some goals that I never thought possible.