Bournemouth star gets Scotland recognition

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Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie has been received his first international call-up by Gordon Strachan.

The 24-year-old has been a consistent performer for Eddie Howe’s team, helping the Cherries move closer to Premier league promotion.

Ritchie has caught the eye of Stratchan having become an integral part of his team’s success, scoring 11 goals in 37 appearances so far in the Championship. Although Ritchie was born in Gosport, he is eligible to represent Scotland through his grandfather, and manager Stratchan admitted he had asked Ritchie prior to call-up whether the former Swindon Town player thought he was Scottish, his response was yes.

Strachan told the Daily Record: “The first thing you ask is: ‘Are you Scottish?’ It’s that simple. Some people might have Scottish fathers but think of themselves as English.

“He feels Scottish, that’s what he wants to be and he was so excited when he got the call. He was away to speak to his dad straight away."

Reward for fine form

Ritchie moved to the Goldsands Stadium in 2013 after departing in controversial circumstances from Swindon, where it is thought to have contributed to Paolo Di Canio’s resignation.

Before his time at Swindon, he was a player at Portsmouth and also enjoyed loan stints at Dagenham and Redbridge, and Notts County.

He moved to the Robins in 2011 and made a total of 91 appearances, earning him a £500,000 switch to the South Coast. Ritchie's reputation under Eddie Howe has increased considerably in recent seasons, benefiting from their free-flowing attacking football which has seen them move top of the table.

He is set to feature for Scotland in their European Qualifying game against Gibraltar and Northern Ireland, where they sit in 3rd position, level on points with World Cup holders Germany.

Meanwhile, fellow Championship player Ross McCormack has been recalled, and fellow uncapped Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds joins up, as they bid to return to the European stage for the first time since 1996.

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Scotland Football
Matt Ritchie
Gordon Strachan

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