Former Dundee United midfielder Ryan Gauld is determined to work his way into the Scotland team.
The Farense midfielder, who has recently been named the player of the year for Portugal’s second tier Liga Pro, will be facing the big guns like Benfica, Porto and his ex-team Sporting in the forthcoming campaign.
Newly-promoted Farense’s first league match is away to Moreirense on September 20 and Gauld will be hoping playing in the top flight in one of Europe’s top football nations will persuade Scots boss Steve Clarke to take a look.
Gauld came close to a cap six years ago when he was called up for his country for a double-header against Georgia and Poland but did not get game time.
More recently, he was left out of Clarke’s squad for the games against Israel and the Czech Republic.
He said: “One day I hope to be called up into the Scotland national team by Steve Clarke but that will only happen with a lot of hard work.
“I’m looking forward to the start of the season and it’s been a while since I played in the top league.
“We are confident we can have a good season.
“Last season was my best in terms of scoring goals and it was also my best in terms of the number of consecutive games I started and the most time I played the full 90 minutes too.
“But that’s already in the past and I know I need to continue that form this season.
“My ambition is to one day play in one of the top European leagues, but for that to happen, it will take a lot of work and dedication and that’s what I will need to do with Farense.
“At 24, I feel comfortable here. The president has invested a lot of money at the club and his ideas are important for the growth of Farsense.
“I really like the club and I also like the manager and the board. It has been like this since the first hour and I feel very happy here.”
As for his player of the year honour, he added: “I was very happy to have received this award, especially because it was after a vote by the captains and managers of the other teams.
“It is a distinction that would make anyone proud.”