Archie Meekison believes his first Scotland Under-21 call-up owes a lot to Dundee United boss Tam Courts’ faith in his youth players.
The 20-year-old midfielder – along with Tannadice team-mates, Kieran Freeman and Ross Graham – was called up by Scot Gemmill for the double header against Belgium and Denmark.
In his debut season as head coach, Courts, who had a spell in the club’s academy, guided United into fourth place in the cinch Premiership which brought a place in the Europa Conference League qualifiers and he did that while giving game time to 16 players who had been through the club’s youth system.
Meekison, who is “buzzing” about his under-21 recognition, said: “I definitely think the gaffer has got a big part to play in the success we got this season, especially with the young lads, letting us in on the big games.
“He trusts us. We had him when we were younger so he obviously knows us and how we play sort of inside out, so it was about that trust level. We have got to the right age and played enough games and he now trusts us in those big games.
“We still finished fourth and all these (academy) players had a big a part to play in that.
“That is up to the youngsters and the academy to bring them through with the right attitude to be as confident as you can be, whether you are playing under-18s or reserve football or training with the first team.
“They come up and they all have a great attitude and always want to push for a place in the first team.
“I have to say I owe a lot to him this season and hopefully I can start to kick on even more next season.”
Scotland face Belgium in their Under-21 Championship qualifying clash in Stayen in Sint-Truden on Sunday before they travel to the Vejle Stadion, in Vejle, to take on Denmark five days later.
Meekison admits international recognition has capped off a good end to the domestic season where he featured in the final five games, starting four.
The playmaker said: “With Dundee United, my season has been up and down with injuries and whatnot but I played a lot of games towards the end of the season.
“I felt I was playing really well but a call-up for Scotland wasn’t going through my mind and it was a bit of a surprise when I finally got the call.
“With Ross and Kieran in as well, it eases you in a little bit.
“I obviously know the Dundee boys as well, Josh (Mulligan) and Harrison (Sharp). It is good to have a group that you are comfortable with but it is also good to mix with the other players that are in the squad as well and get to know them. It has been good.”