Zander Clark is refusing to give up on his Scotland World Cup dream.
The St Johnstone goalkeeper earned a richly-merited maiden call-up to the senior squad for September’s triple-header against Denmark, Moldova and Austria.
He was an unused substitute for all three games.
However, Clark missed the cut for the recent fixtures against Israel and Faroe Islands, with Rangers’ Jon McLaughlin joining Craig Gordon and Liam Kelly in the group.
Nevertheless, the 29-year-old admits he now has the ‘taste’ for international football and is driven to battle back into Clarke’s plans.
And he is allowing himself to consider what it would be like to be part of a team that participates at Qatar 2022, should Scotland make it.
“But I’ve had that taste of it and it is up to me — if I keep performing well, then it’d be great to get back in that set-up and hopefully get to a World Cup.
“It would be everyone’s dream to be part of your country’s World Cup campaign.
“It will be on my mind to get back in. It’s definitely something I want to be part of.
“But if that’s not to be then I still hope we can get there and I’ll support Scotland as a fan while they are there.”
Timeless Craig Gordon
During his time with the national side, Clark lapped up the opportunity to work with Scotland and Hearts number one Craig Gordon, who continues to roll back the years.
And he reckons the 38-year-old is the yardstick for longevity and consistency.
“I’d be delighted if I’m still turning in performances like Craigy at his age,” added Clark.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) October 14, 2021
“If you look after yourself and do the right things, then you can perform at the top level at that age.
“There are a lot of people who say 29 is getting towards your older stages but, in terms of goalkeeping, I could still have another 10 or 12 years ahead of me if I look after my body.”
Defending the Double
Meanwhile, Clark insists St Johnstone can draw upon their staggering cup double of last season when they face Celtic in a ‘special’ Premier Sports Cup semi-final on November 20.
“That semi-final will be another special occasion,” added Clark. “There will be fans in attendance this time so it will be a way for them to get back to Hampden.
“We are under no illusions. It will be a very difficult game for us but we’ll go into it and try to feed off our achievements last season — that mindset to get the best result possible, make it to another final and try to retain the cup.”
St Johnstone will get a taste of what to expect from the Hoops at Hampden when they travel to Celtic Park on Premiership duty on Saturday.