Decision time for Gers kid Fraser Aird as Scotland tussle with Canada

RANGERS kid Fraser Aird is facing increasing pressure to tie his colours to the mast after Scotland handed the Canada-eligible winger his maiden Under-19 call-up.

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Fraser Aird has featured at youth level for Scotland
Fraser Aird has featured at youth level for Scotland

Although he was born and raised in Canada before making the dream move to his boyhood heroes in July 2011, the Ibrox star is eligible to represent Scotland on the big stage through his Scottish-born father, Bill.

A source close to the player says his preferred option is to play for Scotland. Under Fifa rules, the winger will only be tied to playing for one country when he makes a full 'A' team appearance and Hampden bosses are keen to have the 18-year-old involved in the national setup.

Aird has been capped at Under-17 level for Scotland and was part of Ricky Sbragia's Under-18 group in November. He has now been named in the 24-man squad that will meet up for a training camp and friendly with Northern Ireland next month after a superb debut season for Third Division champions Rangers.

The wide man made an impressive impact in the first-team arena last time out, famously netting the winner in the Glasgow derby victory over Queen's Park at Hampden, and is targeting another run of action in the coming months as Ally McCoist's side bid for two-in-a-row.

He struck the only goal of the game in the 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Elgin nine days ago and, despite fierce competition for a Light Blues starting berth, he could play a key role in the Gers' title challenge.

His international future is less clear, however, with Scotland and Canada both keen on his services.

He was named in the Reds' 35-man pool for the Gold Cup by former Ibrox defender Colin Miller a few weeks ago and while he did not make the final cut for the competition, the Canadians are eager to cap their man after missing out on a string of top talents – including Owen Hargreaves, Jonathan de Guzman and Junior Hoilett – in recent years.

Scotland have suffered too, with both James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady turning down the chance to pull on the Dark Blue jersey and switching allegiance to the Republic of Ireland.

Aird has always been happy to play the waiting game before making a decision on his international plans and, speaking last week, he said: "It's the same situation as last year. I'm going to keep my options open and see how it goes.

"If I'm in the first team and I'm playing well then maybe one of them will make a decision on me."


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