Driver declares himself Scottish

By BBC Sport
Last updated : 05 February 2010

Hearts' English-born winger Andrew Driver is to represent Scotland as a full international, national manager Craig Levein has confirmed.Driver, who has been capped for England Under-21s, qualifies for Scotland under recently-agreed residency criteria.

He also played for Scotland schoolboys, once scoring against England.

Levein has also confirmed that Rangers pair Kris Boyd and Allan McGregor will be included in the squad for March's friendly with the Czech Republic.

Boyd declared himself unavailable for Scotland under former manager George Burley while McGregor was banned for a breach of discipline.

Former Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson, now at Birmingham, was also banned and doubts remain as to whether he will return to the Scotland fold.

Levein has spoken to Ferguson and said the discussions were positive but the matter is not yet resolved.

The four British home nations recently agreed to change the eligibility rules to include those with five years' schooling in a country.

That gave Driver, who had represented Scotland at schoolboy level, the opportunity to switch should he decide to do so.

"Andy Driver gave me the nod yesterday that he is dead keen," explained Levein.

"I said 'Do you want to go away and think about it?' He said 'No, my mind is made up, I want to play for Scotland'.

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"We need to find out he meets the criteria exactly, that it's five years schooling and not four years, 11 months and 26 days."

Driver turned out for England at the U21 European Championship last summer but injury has restricted him to just 11 appearances for Hearts this season.

Speaking after making his latest comeback in the weekend defeat to St Johnstone last Saturday, Driver said: "I hold Craig Levein in high regard.

"He was the first manager I ever had in my Hearts career.

Celtic's Somali-born forward Islam Feruz became the first player to be selected for Scotland under the new schooling rule.

On the subject of Ferguson's possible return, Levein added: "I've spoken to Barry, I spent two hours with him last week and I've spoken to him on the phone.

"I would consider both conversations were very positive. The difficulty is the timing of everything.

"You have to appreciate that at the start of the season Barry signed a contract with Birmingham and had nothing else on the horizon. So he has made commitments to his club.

"Also his wife and kids are staying up in Scotland so he has made commitments on that front.

"We plan to speak further. I have got a good feeling about the discussions we've had."

Source: BBC Sport

Heart of Midlothian Match Reports

Scottish Premiership Sat 17th February 12:30

Ross County 1 - 1 Hearts

Last game - Match Centre


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