SFA seek club agreement over player release

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The Scottish Football Association will ask Championship clubs to rest Scotland players for the first game of next season in order to help George Burley's World Cup bid.

Scotland manager Burley last week won a concession from the Scottish Premier League to postpone their kick-off to August 15 to give him extra time to prepare for the World Cup qualifier against Norway on Wednesday, August 12.

But a significant proportion of his squad play in England's second tier, which is scheduled to start on August 8. So SFA chief executive Gordon Smith will appeal to the clubs involved to do Scotland a favour. Smith said: "It could be a problem because we are going to have to speak to the clubs down there."

The majority of Scotland's attacking players currently ply their trade in the Championship.

Birmingham pair James McFadden and Garry O'Connor, Wolves striker Chris Iwelumo, Cardiff forward Ross McCormack and Derby attacker Kris Commons are all likely to be in Burley's thoughts.

When Norwich goalkeeper David Marshall, Burnley's Graham Alexander, Wolves defender Christophe Berra and Sheffield United left-back Gary Naysmith are added, Burley could be without almost half his squad when he begins his preparations six days before the Oslo clash.

Burley added: "We can't do it with the league because it's another association, another country. So all we can do is on an individual basis.

"It's going to be difficult. I can understand how they will feel - the first game of the season and we are asking them not to play key players.

"It's going to be a difficult decision for them to make but all we can do is ask. It's not going to happen until such time when we know what the squad is."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Norwich City
James McFadden
Ross McCormack
Kris Commons
Chris Iwelumo
Graham Alexander
Premier League
Cardiff City
Derby County
David Marshall
Sheffield United
Garry O'Connor
Christophe Berra
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Gary Naysmith

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