Gilks loving the Scottish life

Scotland goalkeeper Matt Gilks

Scotland goalkeeper Matt Gilks

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Matt Gilks looks set for another evening on Scotland’s bench tonight – but it won’t dampen his enthusiasm.

Despite being born in Rochdale, the Blackpool no.1 qualifies for Scotland via a grandmother.

He is currently seen as Gordon Strachan’s third choice, behind Hull’s Alan McGregor and Cardiff’s David Marshall, and is expected to be among the substitutes again for the World Cup qualifier in Macedonia.

But the 31-year-old is happy to just be involved. “It’s not frustrating at all coming up to Scotland and sitting on the bench,” he said.

“We have two excellent keepers and that leaves me not getting game-time.

“But I’m more than happy being involved and training with the Scotland set-up.”

Gilks was first called up to the squad during Blackpool’s Premier League season of 2010-11.

After four matches on the bench, he finally won his first cap in a friendly against Australia in August last year.

And it was an achievement which still fills him with pride. “My grandma was Scottish, so I grew up always being Scottish.

“I’ve played two friendlies so far and it makes me so proud.

“Just to be called up and to be part of the squad, I love every minute of it.”

Blackpool had fewer players on international duty than usual this week, with injuries to Craig Cathcart and Tom Ince forcing them out of the Northern Ireland and England U21 squads respectively.

Defender Jack Robinson was on the bench for England U21 in last night’s drawn Euro 2015 qualifier in Finland.

He and Gilks are expected to return to training with the Seasiders on Thursday ahead of the weekend’s long trip to Bournemouth.