Scotland boss Levein: Family of Blackpool’s Phillips alerted SFA of eligibility

Scotland manager Craig Levein has revealed that the family of Blackpool winger Matt Phillips alerted the Scottish Football Association about his eligibility to play for the national team.

The 20-year old was born in England and has represented his country of birth at U19 and U20 level but has been called up for the Scotland squad for next weeks’ friendly against Slovenia in Koper.

Levein said that he wasn’t aware of Phillips’ eligibility but is delighted that he has been able to select him because of his grandparents heritage subject to FIFA clearance.

"This is not one of those cases that we have been researching and found on our own," he said.

"This came from his family to us, if you know what I mean. It is quite a big decision, as you can imagine, to change nationality but he is very excited about the prospect of being involved.

"His grandfather is very proud I can tell you, and so is his family. Everybody has their own reasons for wanting to play for Scotland.

"But if he is half as successful as guys like James Morrison, Jamie Mackie, Craig Mackail-Smith and Phil Bardsley then I will be delighted.

"He is a young guy who has a tremendous amount of potential and I am extremely excited about him being involved for Scotland.

"I'm hoping that FIFA can push along the process and we can get him available for the game."

 
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