Blackpool youngster's surprise at Scotland U21 selection

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Blackpool’s Rob Apter admitted his Scotland U21 call-up was a bolt from the blue after making his first two appearances at that level.

Having been brought off the bench in last Monday’s 2-1 loss to Turkey, Apter had a starting spot for Friday’s 5-0 defeat in Austria.

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He created an early chance for Motherwell’s Lennon Miller before the hosts took charge in Wiener Neustadt.

Blackpool's Rob Apter made his first start for Scotland's U21s last Friday Picture: Dave Howarth/CameraSportBlackpool's Rob Apter made his first start for Scotland's U21s last Friday Picture: Dave Howarth/CameraSport
Blackpool's Rob Apter made his first start for Scotland's U21s last Friday Picture: Dave Howarth/CameraSport
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Nikolas Veratschnig scored a first-half hat-trick before netting again in the second period, having seen Samson Baidoo also score in the opening 45 minutes.

Speaking to the Scottish FA’s website beforehand, Apter described his surprise at being selected.

He said: “It was quite unexpected as I hadn’t heard anything until about three weeks ago and, when I heard, I was made up to be honest because it’s something I’ve been working towards.

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“I was going to be going on holiday but I was happy to cancel it!

“I’ve played with Liam Morrison, Adam Devine, Max Johnston and Leon King before in the Scotland youth teams, so I knew a few of the lads which has made it easier.

“At Tranmere this season, we tried to get the ball on the floor but there are some games in League Two that are long ball.

“You then come here and everything is on the floor and that’s better for me as it’s my sort of game.”

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Apter had previously played for Scotland’s U19s, scoring once in six appearances.

He was proud to make the step up into a U21 team which returns to competitive action with Euro 2025 qualifiers in September.

“My dad was born in Scotland so he’s always proud,” Apter added.

“It’s a big thing playing international football and I’m enjoying it so far.

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“It’s something that I’ve been working towards. After playing with Scotland Under-19s, the next step up was the Under-21s and I was made up to play.

“Turkey were a good team but I think I did well when I came on. I could have scored two, the goalkeeper saved two of my shots but hopefully – on another day – they go in.”