The last time Andy Robertson led out a team as captain it was one of his final games for Dundee United.
The Tangerines handed Robertson the armband in a pre-season friendly against Forfar at Station Park on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
It was a move – the player joked – that was a blatant tactic by then manager Jackie McNamara to try to get him to stay with United.
Instead, Robertson was destined for the bright lights of the English Premier League with first Hull City and now the mighty Liverpool.
Tonight he will lead his country out for the first time as skipper of Scotland to face World Cup semi-finalists Belgium in a friendly at Hampden.
The left-back took time out from preparing for what will be a huge honour and privilege to recall that thinly-disguised attempt by United to persuade him to hang around.
Robertson said: “Being captain is a new thing for me.
“Just a wee while before I left Dundee United I captained them for one game.
“I think that was maybe to try and keep me there!
“I do remember it, when the gaffer (McNamara) told me I was going to lead them out.
“It was a pre-season friendly against Forfar.
“I managed to score and get an assist (for Jordan Moore) so it was quite a good day for me, although it ended up being one of my last games for United.
“It was one of the last pre-season games before the season started and I think the manager played quite a young team because it was astro and a few of the older boys couldn’t play on it.
“Other than that, when Charlie Mulgrew went off against Costa Rica I think I captained the team for the last 15 minutes. So I have had little experience but I am still young enough that I can grow into the role.
“Of course, it will be different to walk out at Hampden where the journey all began for me with Queen’s Park.
“To kind of go full circle will be nice.
“It will be something different to lead out your country and I will be experiencing that more often.
“I look forward to it, to wearing the badge with huge honour and trying to lead the country back to where we want to be.”
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Robertson may be living the dream of every player in the land but he believes the time has come to stop pinching himself.
His route to the heights of both club and international football has been a fairytale.
He was the rejected kid at Celtic who ended up at lower-league Queen’s Park before getting arguably his most significant break at United, considering the platform it gave him.
He broke into the Scots side under Gordon Strachan then came a big-money move to Hull City and then on to one of the world’s greatest club in Liverpool, where he has gone down a storm and starred in the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
As modest a player as you are likely to find, Robertson appreciates every break and bit of support he has received along the way.
Now, though, when he leads the national team out for the first time to face the Belgians he will do so in the knowledge that he has earned the right to do so.
Robertson said: “Of course, I couldn’t have pictured this when I was at Queen’s Park but I think the stage of pinching myself is behind me now.
“When I moved to Hull and I was playing against these players in the Premier League in England maybe I pinched myself then.
“But now I am at a very big club.
“I have been there a year now and I have settled into it.
“So pinching myself isn’t the right thing to do now.
“I am used to my surroundings and the demands of playing for Liverpool and I am just enjoying my football now.”
Despite backing himself to do well in the role, Robertson admitted the news delivered by manager Alex McLeish took him aback a bit.
“It was probably a bit of a surprise,” admitted the Anfield ace.
“Charlie (Mulgrew) had captained the last four games and obviously the manager was always going to name a (permanent) captain.
“He told me on Sunday night and the news was accepted with a big smile.
“Obviously it is a huge honour so I am looking forward to it.
“I think this squad is quite lucky because quite a lot of us are leaders.
“You can see that in times gone by, even when Broony (Scott Brown) or Fletch (Darren Fletcher) have been the captain there have probably been around five or six captains on the pitch.
“So I think that is important.
“I feel as if I can lead by example, both on and off the pitch.”