Fleetwood Town's Stoke City loan star Harry Souttar to make Australia U23 debut but Scotland future still possible

Fleetwood Town's on-loan defender Harry Souttar is set to represent Australia Under-23s in their Olympic qualification quest this week but that does not mean he will not one day feature for the senior Scotland side.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 1:13 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 1:18 pm

Aberdeen-born Stoke City centre-half Souttar, 20, has represented Scotland at U17 and U19 levels but qualifies for the Socceroos through his Australian mother, Heather.Having featured in Fleetwood Town's 2-0 win over Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, the defender has now jetted off to Cambodia after accepting a call-up by Australia U23s.Souttar's older brother John made his senior Scotland debut last September after Hearts boss Craig Levein warned that the national team risked losing him to Australia.Harry's decision to play for the Socceroos does not mean his chances of joining John in Alex McLeish's Scotland side are over.The recent situation with Declan Rice suggests Harry Souttar could still represent his country of birth in the future.Rice, the 20-year-old West Ham midfielder, has been allowed by FIFA to switch allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.The Premier League star, who was born in London with Irish grandparents, has played three times for the Republic. But because they were friendlies the door remained open for his change of allegiance.So until Harry represents Australia in a senior competitive fixture, he could still revert to representing Scotland. Speaking two years ago, while with Scotland U19s, Harry said: "My ambition has always been to play for Scotland. Maybe one day I will partner John at the centre of defence for Scotland but that's a long way into the future."My aim is to try to get myself established in English football and then see what happens."The Australia U23s are managed by senior Socceroos boss Graham Arnold, who plans to take a close look at Souttar this week during the bid to reach next year's Tokyo Olympics.Arnold said: "When you look at Harry and his size, he is a beast! But he is also very good on the ground with his feet."Souttar could make his Australia bow on Friday, when Australia play Cambodia. They then face Chinese Taipai on Sunday and South Korea the following Tuesday. The defender will then fly back to feature in Fleetwood's next League One clash against Accrington Stanley on Saturday, March, 30.

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