Craig Mackail-Smith makes Scotland debut against five times World Champions Brazil

Former St Albans City striker makes international debut

FORMER St Albans City striker Craig Mackail-Smith found himself up against World Cup and Champions League winners on Sunday as he made his international debut for Scotland in their friendly with Brazil.

The St Albans City Youth product, earned the call up after another superb season at Peterborough United which has seen him net 27 times so far this season and made his debut as an 87th minute replacement in the Scots’ 2-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

Mackail-Smith, who left Clarence Park in 2003 after 45 appearances and just two goals, admitted that he had to work hard to prove himself.

“I had a lot of set-backs when I was younger; people didn’t think I was good enough to play at the top level,” Mackail-Smith told BBC Radio Scotland afterwards.

“I always believed I was good enough and it was just a case of working hard, and it has worked out this season.

“My all-round game has clicked and that has put me in the spotlight.

Most Read

“It was a fantastic opportunity to represent the country on Sunday. It’s just a great honour to put the shirt on and play for them.”

The striker, who qualifies for Scotland through his Edinburgh born grandmother, was involved in Peterborough’s 2-2 draw with Bristol Rovers on Friday night before linking up with his international team mates and he admitted it was surreal swapping Bristol Rovers and the Memorial Ground for five times World Champions Brazil and Arsenal’s plush Emirates Stadium.

“It was [Peterborough director] Barry Fry who put to them that I was eligible to play. Last week I got the phone call,” Mackail-Smith recalled.

“It was amazing to hear who they were playing. It was a strange journey.

“I was at Bristol Rovers on the Friday night playing for Peterborough and ended up on the pitch at the Emirates against Lucio and Dani Alves.”