Harry Souttar has insisted he hasn’t snubbed Scotland, and has only chosen to play for Australia because he was ignored by his country.
The Stoke City defender is on loan at Fleetwood Town, and has won plenty of praise from manager Joey Barton for his displays this season.
Souttar – whose brother John has won three caps for Scotland and was in the thick of yesterday’s Edinburgh derby – caused a stir when he opted to accept a call-up for Australia’s Under-23s last month.
The 20-year-old Aberdonian played for the young Socceroos in an Asian Cup qualifying tournament in Cambodia, and looks set to continue representing them.
But he’s revealed he only accepted a call-up as he was being ignored by Scotland, having previously represented the Dark Blues at youth level.
The former Dundee United and Ross County man can still play for Scotland because he hasn’t represented Australia in a full competitive fixture, but admits he’s now happy with the Socceroos.
Souttar said: “I met representatives from Australia, when I was not really getting called up from Scotland.
“I heard a lot said about me snubbing my country, but I was not getting called up for any age group.
“Australia came in and said: ‘Would you like to play for us?’.
“I said: ‘Yeah’, and I’ve made my mum and my family very proud. It is a good decision for me, personally.
“There has not been a bad word said about it by any of my family.
“It was a good week. I loved being away with Australia in Cambodia, where we won 6-0.
“It’s hard to say if I will ever play with John for Scotland. I really loved it with Australia.
“I made my decision because I felt it was right for me. For me, it is Australia and I’m going to stick with that.
“We got through and we have the Asian Cup in January, so I can’t wait for that.
“If we get to the semi-finals in the Asian Cup, we qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo next year.
“So there are two competitions we are really looking forward to, and it is a great time to be an international player.”