Getting into a Canadian national team that includes players from the English Premier League and a teenager who has been snapped up by Bayern Munich in no easy task for David Wotherspoon.
But neither is getting a start for St Johnstone.
Wotherspoon is thoroughly enjoying life as an international footballer after returning from a recent Canada camp which included an 8-0 defeat of the US Virgin Islands in the CONCACAF Nations League.
Staying in the squad might need staying in the Saints side – and that will be no easy matter for the experienced midfielder who is not used to life as a substitute at McDiarmid Park.
“I haven’t been back in the starting line-up since the Kilmarnock game which is unfortunate for me but these things happen,” he said.
“The team have played well since then.
“We’ve got a great squad now. It’s definitely one of the best. There are some exciting players who will win games for us. I think we can be consistent this season.
“Everyone is itching to play and that’s the competition for places a manager wants.
“This has been the longest time I haven’t started a game when I’ve been fit.
“I’ve just got to keep my mind focused and be ready for my opportunity. And when I get a chance I’ve got to take it.”
Wotherspoon, whose mother was born in Canada, has been impressed by the quality of footballer in the squad that he was called up for after two years of cutting through red tape.
“It’s a great standard,” said the former Hibs man.
“There are players playing at the highest level like Junior Hoilett, Alphonso Davies and Scott Arfield.
“Playing with good players is always going to develop you. It was a really good week for me.
“Alphonso has just signed for Bayern Munich at 17-years-old and you can see the quality he’s got. He’ll get better and better. He played at left-back and set up two of our goals. He just looks the part.
“Hopefully I can be involved for as long as possible.
“Obviously I’ll have to get back to playing regularly here to stay in the squad. The past two camps have been great and it’s something I want to keep being part of.”
If he plays, Wotherspoon will be coming up against his Canadian captain, Arfield, who scored for Rangers in their impressive 2-2 draw against Villarreal in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
“Scott is enjoying being back home and he’s says good things about their manager and the boys in their squad,” he said.
“I’ve got fond memories of going to Ibrox. We’ve had some really good results and performances.
“Even with Hibs I won there.
“It’s definitely not a game to be scared of. We’ve got players in pour dressing room who can give them problems.
“I haven’t really watched them that much. From their results, they’ve done reasonably well.
“We’ll be expecting a tough game – as you always do against Rangers.”
Wotherspoon is hoping that Saints can take advantage of any post-Europa League fatigue that may be a factor for the hosts.
“We’ve played Celtic after a European game and they have been a bit slow to start,” he said.
“I think we can take advantage of that.
“The travel and the quick turn-around between games can be tough and we have to try and take advantage of it.”
Meanwhile, Wotherspoon gave his take on a penalty incident that was highlighted after Saturday’s draw with Aberdeen, when Gary Mackay-Steven wasn’t awarded a spot-kick after his edge of the box challenge.
“Watching it back, it looks like it was (a penalty),” he reflected.
“I went for the ball. He’s maybe got his foot in front of mine. At the time I thought I’d got the ball but it looks worse when you see it on TV.
“I think he was looking for the contact because he saw me coming in.
“Listen, they didn’t get it so it doesn’t matter.”