‘Old man’ Weir gets call to bolster Scots’ defence
DAVID Weir and Kevin Kyle have been recalled to the Scotland squad for next month’s must-win World Cup qualifiers with Macedonia and the Netherlands.
Number one choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon also returns from injury. And manager George Burley has already said Weir and Gordon will start against Macedonia on September 5.
Stephen McManus is included but is yet to play a game for Celtic this season, while Steven Caldwell and Christophe Berra make it despite fitness worries.
Ross McCormack, Barry Robson and Chris Iwelumo are ruled out with injuries, while Kevin Thomson and Garry O’Connor have been overlooked.
With Gary Caldwell suspended for the clash with Macedonia and the injury concerns surrounding his brother Steven, McManus and Berra, Burley has called upon the experience of 39-year-old Weir.
The Rangers defender won the last of his 63 caps in the 0-0 draw with Norway at Hampden last October, his only appearance in this World Cup qualifying campaign.
Weir will become the oldest outfield player to represent his country since Jimmy McMenemy in 1920.
“I’ve been in touch with Davie since I’ve been the manager; he has played in some of the games and played against Norway at Hampden last year,” said Burley.
“But David is turning 40 and it is a big ask for a player of his age to play international football; it is a big jump up from the SPL.
“Davie is a model professional, but you are trying to introduce other players.
“I wouldn’t pick him if I wasn’t going to play him.”
The absence of forwards Iwelumo and McCormack has paved the way for Kilmarnock’s Kyle to add his considerable height to Burley’s attacking options.
The 28-year-old has not featured for his country since 2004 but has discovered a new lease of life at Rugby Park. The former Sunderland and Coventry striker has scored 10 goals in 14 appearances for the Ayrshire side.
“It’s something that I didn’t think would happen,” Kyle told BBC Scotland.
“Five years ago, my career ended abruptly because I was injured and I never quite forced my way back into the team once I got fit. But if you play week in, week out, and score goals, it can give you a chance.”
Veteran… David Weir