AFTER falling at the final hurdle last year Kilsyth footballer Lewis Wilson insists he is ready to make up for lost time after being named in the Scotland under-18 schoolboys squad for 2014.
Following two extensive trials Wilson, who attends Kilsyth Academy, was last week named as part of an 18-man squad set to represent Scotland in next year’s Centenary Shield.
And 17-year-old left-back Wilson was delighted to see his name on the list after making it all the way to the final trial last year only to fail to make the Centenary Shield squad.
It could yet turn out to be a blessing in disguise as last year’s squad suffered defeats in all of their games against England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
And, after making his Alloa Athletic debut in their Scottish Cup victory over Inverurie Loco Works on November 2, Wilson believes he can help turn Scotland’s fortunes around.
“I was quite nervous at the trials as I was hoping to get in after making it to the final trial last year only to not make the squad,” said Wilson.
“I came back this year eager to prove what I can do and I am really pleased that I managed to do that and I am really looking forward to the games now.
“It has been a great season for me already because I made my Alloa Athletic debut and played the full 90 minutes.
“That gave me a taste for it and I want more experiences like that and I can’t wait to pull on that Scotland shirt and hopefully help them improve on last year – I think we definitely can.”
Taking the reins for the Scotland under-18 schoolboys squad for this season’s Centenary Shield is Billy Henderson, fresh from leading Scotland’s under-15 girls to success in the Bob Docherty Trophy.
And, after the under-18 boys struggled to get off the ground last season, losing all four of their Centenary Shield matches, manager Henderson wants a fast start from Wilson.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the girls and it was a fantastic way for me to end with a wonderful season last time but I always wanted another crack with the boys,” Henderson said.
“From what I have been told about last season it was obviously disappointing and it all stemmed from leading 1-0 in the first game against Northern Ireland only to concede two late goals.
“That defeat had a psychological effect on the boys and hung over them for the rest of the competition and they couldn’t shake it.
“We have two home games to start this season and it is not only important to win your home games but also to get off to a fast start, especially after last year.”
TSB, proud partner of the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland U18 schoolboys squad for their 2014 Centenary Shield campaign. For all the latest squad news, visit scottishfa.co.uk/ssfa