Mikey Devlin believes Scotland are suddenly spoiled for choice when it comes to central defence.
The middle of the backline has long been a problem area for the Scots but Devlin, one of five uncapped players in new boss Steve Clarke’s squad, thinks there are plenty of options going into the Euro 2020 qualifying double-header at home to Cyprus and away to Belgium.
The 25-year-old Aberdeen stopper has joined Pittodrie clubmate Scott McKenna in the international set-up but believes it’s not just the Dons duo who can do a job there.
Devlin said: “We’ve got a very competitive squad, particularly at centre-back.
“For the last four or five years it has been a position that has been crying out for someone to take up that mantle in that role.
“Now, though, we have myself, Scott McKenna, David Bates, John Souttar, Charlie Mulgrew and Stuart Findlay, who has come into the fold as well.
“We are not short of options.”
Devlin admitted he thought he might have missed his chance as far as wearing the dark blue of his country is concerned.
He was in line to win his first cap during November’s UEFA Nations League games with Albania and Israel before a training injury ruled him out.
Now he can’t wait to kick off the Clarke era against the Cypriots at Hampden on Saturday night.
He said: “Sometimes you wonder if you’ve missed the boat.
“The last time I was involved it ended prematurely.
“I was really excited to be named in the squad and at club level things were going well.
“I then rolled my ankle and it took a bit of time to get to the bottom of it.
“I went on to miss three months for my club just before the cup final, which was gutting.
“So when I got the call this time I was over the moon to be involved.
“As a boy it is your dream to play for the national team and it’s an honour every time you get the opportunity, especially with it being the gaffer’s first squad.
“I have only spoken briefly (with Clarke) but every single player here will be highly enthusiastic about what’s coming.
“He has worked at a top level, being part of teams that have won trophies at Liverpool and Chelsea, and then what he achieved at Kilmarnock is second to none.”