Evening Telegraph (First Edition)

Hornets star is excitement at ‘buzzing’ with Scotland duty


RYAN Porteous hopes to get the chance to replicate the biggest high of his career by earning his second Scotland cap.

The 23-year-old Watford defender made his internatio­nal debut against Ukraine in Krakow last September, where the goalless draw sealed promotion for Steve Clarke’s side to the top level of the Nations League and guaranteed a play-off spot in qualifying for the European Championsh­ip.

Ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifying double-header against the Cypriots and Spain, both at Hampden Park, Porteous recalled his greatest day in football so far as he looked to the future.

He said: “I was speaking about it to my dad the other day. It was the best day of my life, the best day of my career and it is that kind of feeling that I have been chasing the last six months.

“I haven’t had an opportunit­y to do it so now I am back in the camp I am getting that buzz again and hopefully there will be opportunit­ies over the next couple of games.

“It was a long time coming. I had been called up to quite a few camps before then.

“I always had that faith that the manager would chuck me in, with the conversati­ons I had with him.

“He had no hesitation and no doubts and it was a great feeling.

“The lads did a lot before we went into that game needing only a point but it was a great experience.

“I have been chasing the next cap. The feeling I had on the pitch, I hadn’t had that before on a football pitch and it is something I want.

“I dreamed about getting that first cap and I am hungry for more.

“Hopefully it puts my hat into

the ring and shows I can be trusted on the big stage but there is a very talented group here, a lot of good defenders and the main targets for us is getting points on the board no matter what team is selected,

“I just want to put myself in the hat for a start and if that doesn’t happen I will be ready if called upon.”

Porteous, who joined the Hornets from Hibernian in January, had his detractors and he believes breaking

into the Scotland team was “maybe a moment that shut a few people up”.

He also had a message for up-andcoming players about social media.

The former Scotland Under-21 player said: “If I had any advice to players coming through, try to take yourself off social media.

“Don’t read it because there are a lot of keyboard warriors who aren’t going to benefit your career in any way. So try to stay off it. It

was difficult to start but once you come off it you are in a better place. It definitely helped me.

“It becomes easier. I have a clean slate down there and I am enjoying it.

“The move came at a good time for me. I wanted to take myself out of the comfort zone that I have been in at Hibs for the last couple of years.

“It puts me in a better opportunit­y to become a better player faster and if I am doing that hopefully I can reap some rewards. I am in a good place right now and I am enjoying my football.”

FORMER Scotland full-back Raymond Stewart is confident that Scotland will get good service from their full-backs.

He also feels that four of them, Aaron Hickey (Brentford), Nathan Patterson (Everton), Andy Robertson (Liverpool) and Kieran Tierney (Arsenal), will serve their country well for years to come.

Stewart said: “Steve Clarke was a good full-back so knows one when he sees one.

“This quartet are all playing with Premiershi­p clubs so they are good quality defenders.

“Andy and Kieran have already done well for Scotland and Aaron and Nathan can follow in their footsteps.

“They are a good set who can serve Scotland well for years to come.

“The four of them are young men hungry to do well. We have good riches in the full-back areas.”

 ?? Clarke is “rich in full-backs”. ?? HORNET ON A HIGH: Ryan Porteous, at training with Anthony Ralston,
Clarke is “rich in full-backs”. HORNET ON A HIGH: Ryan Porteous, at training with Anthony Ralston,
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