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Scotland make play for Hamilton whiz McCarthy

George Burley will try to persuade Irish wonderkid James McCarthy to switch allegiance to Scotland. McCarthy was born in Scotland but remains eligible for both countries as his late grandfather came from Donegal. Last month the Hamilton midfielder won his first under-21 international cap for Ireland against Portugal.

Any player can switch allegiance up until his 21st birthday provided he has not won a full cap.

Burley is understood to have his instructed his backroom staff to open talks with the 17-year-old after watching him during Hamilton's 4-0 defeat to Celtic on Saturday.

However, McCarthy recently told the Scottish Sun that he is determined to stay with the Irish.

"I won't be changing my mind," he maintained. "I've been part of the Republic set up for too long now and I'm proud to be part of it."

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