The Shaun Rooney for Scotland calls have begun on the back of the St Johnstone defender’s Hampden heroics.
And his club manager can understand why.
The former Inverness Caley Thistle full-back followed up his Betfred Cup quarter and semi-final goals with another one to settle Sunday’s final against Livingston.
And with national coach Steve Clarke favouring the same rearguard formation as himself, Callum Davidson agrees that Rooney is a possible contender for a call-up to fill a position Scotland don’t have strength in depth at.
“Shaun effects games,” said the Saints boss.
“To score in the quarter-final, the semi and the final is a remarkable achievement, particularly for a right wing-back.
“Shaun has unbelievable enthusiasm. He’s a great athlete and he is still learning.
“He is Scottish and Scotland are looking at that position.
“So potentially he can go on and fill the right wing-back or centre-back role for the national team.
“They are two different positions but in the systems we have played he has adapted well.”
Shaun had to be patient to get his chance.
Scoring the winning goal in a cup final and being the subject of Scotland Euro 2020 talk represents a stunning transformation for a footballer who wasn’t even a St Johnstone first-choice just over a couple of months ago.
“Shaun had to be patient to get his chance because Danny (McNamara) was playing so well for us,” said Davidson.
“And he did extra work when he wasn’t playing to make sure he was ready.
“I want competition for places. That’s why James Brown came up from Millwall when Danny went back.
“Like Shaun, he is now having to be patient because of how well Shaun is playing.”
Brown, as well as he played in his one start against Rangers, wouldn’t have had a realistic expectation of being selected at the weekend. It would have been different for the likes of Guy Melamed, Scott Tanser and Craig Bryson, though.
“Telling some players they weren’t starting was probably the hardest thing I have had to do,” said Davidson.
“I just felt the formation was right for the game. That dictated my team selection.
“I knew they would be disappointed. I was a player myself and all I could do was try to be honest with them.
“Obviously they weren’t happy about it but their attitude was spot-on and professional, as I would have expected.
“It is a small but tight-knit squad. They are in this together and they know they are all part of it.
“That is so important for team spirit and it showed on Sunday.”
Picking Murray Davidson didn’t become an option after the midfielder’s calf injury setback at the start of final week. But nobody deserved his medal more – and there was one spare as a result of Saints not filling their bench.
“It was an easy decision to list only eight substitutes because that’s the size of our squad,” said Davidson.
“They were picked on the basis of who could come on and impact the game.
“If I had felt a young player could do that he’d have been on the bench but it has been tough for them not having games.
“Murray deserved his medal.
“He has been a massive part of this club over the years and played a huge role in getting us to the final.
“It was only right for him to pick up a medal on Sunday.
“I was delighted to see Jason (Kerr) and Liam (Craig) get him forward to lift the cup among everything that was going on.
“The boys think a lot of Murray and they all knew how he was feeling.
“They are a fantastic group. Sure, they have their arguments but they look after each other.
“It was a major step in helping Murray get over his disappointment.
“On the plus side it isn’t a serious injury.
“We have a break coming up after the Hibs game so we will get him fit for the run-in.”
Three of Davidson’s 11 starters were only offered six-month contracts in the summer, which were extended in January. To say Chris Kane, Liam Craig and Booth have proved their worth would be quite the understatement.
“It’s incredible for those three players,” he said. “They are part of the club’s history now.
“It was hard for them at the time to take those short-term contracts because of the uncertainty triggered by the pandemic.
“But I knew what they could do and it sums up the belief I have in this group.”