Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has hailed Scotland newcomer Andy Considine as the perfect example of what can be achieved through perseverance.
Considine was overlooked for Scotland squads despite putting in consistent performances for the Dons over a long period and his international prospects looked gone.
However, the 33-year-old won a late call-up last week and put in two excellent displays as Steve Clarke’s team kept clean sheets and wins against Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
“It is a reward for his perseverance and now maybe the perception of big Andy for others is different because of how he has performed in a Scotland shirt,” McInnes said.
“But anyone who watches us regularly would see those two performances would see they were very like an Andy Considine performance, just in a dark blue jersey.
“We are all delighted for him because we do feel it is something he has worked towards and he’s managed to achieve something that was always very important to him.
“Hopefully he will go on to win many more on the back of his two performances.”
Considine saw Pittodrie team-mates such as Mikey Devlin, Scott McKenna, Mark Reynolds, Graeme Shinnie, Ryan Jack, Ryan Christie and Kenny McLean win caps while at the club before he finally got his chance.
McInnes said: “We have had a lot of players go away with their country and it’s always with a sense of pride. And Andy has always came in in international breaks, done his work, ticked himself over, and there has always been that conversation with him, ‘Keep going, next time around, you never know, keep playing away’.
“You need that bit of good fortune as well, the fact that there is a back five now, the fact McKenna was out. Andy has been playing in that position on the left of a back three all season and doing it very well.
“It is a good story for any player who consistently get overlooked or take disappointment, and try to channel it in the right way.
“Like any disappointment, if you just roll over and feel sorry for yourself, it’s not going to change anything.
“If you knuckle down, perform better and have a positive mindset, and I always felt Andy believed he could get in, and that’s the important thing.
“It is a brilliant story for perseverance, being professional, doing the right thing, and eventually people recognise what you are.”
The performances of the likes of Considine, Motherwell defender Declan Gallagher and even Lyndon Dykes, who moved from Livingston to QPR last month, have shown the Scottish Premiership has players of international quality.
“I have spoken to various Scotland managers about Andy in particular and I am so pleased Steve gave him a chance, like he gave others, whether it’s been players that he worked with at Kilmarnock, players that he knows can do the job.
“He has also looked at players performing at other clubs in Scotland, (Lawrence) Shankland, Declan Gallagher, Lyndon Dykes, obviously he first got involved on the back of what he did at Livingston, and it’s hard to imagine the team without maybe a Gallagher in it now and certainly a Lyndon Dykes.
“So it’s great for the league and also good that the manager recognises the strength of the league having operated in it again recently.”