First Time Scotland Call-Up Matt Ritchie Admits He’s Never Actually Been To Scotland

Chris Wright

17th, March 2015

1 Comment

By Chris Wright

On the back of an impressive season so far with Bournemouth, winger Matt Ritchie received his first international call-up earlier this week after finding himself included in the Scotland squad for next Wednesday’s friendly against Northern Ireland as well their Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar the following Sunday.

It shouldn’t come as much of a shock but Ritchie wasn’t actually born in Scotland – in fact, he was born and raised in Gosport, which is just about as far from Scotland as you can get without straying into northern France.

Indeed, when asked about his maiden cap, the Bournemouth boy came clean and openly confessed that he’d never even been to Scotland before.

“I had a call a couple of weeks ago from the manager (Gordon Strachan),” Ritchie told the Daily Record.

“That was a massive surprise and at first I thought it was a prank call.”

Ritchie went on to explain that he does have family ties to Scotland, and that his call-up wasn’t just a random-pin-in-the-map kind of affair.

“My dad was born in Edinburgh and so were my grandparents. My granddad was in the Royal Navy and they moved to England after he had been posted to Portsmouth, which is where I grew up.”

“I’ve still got relatives in Scotland but my aunties and uncles always seem to come down here to see my nan and granddad so I haven’t actually been to Scotland.”

Let’s face it: He’s not the first, he won’t be the last and it’s actually fairly refreshing to see a player be so unashamedly honest about the situation.

The system’s naff but Scotland offered him the chance to play international football and he jumped at it. Who can fault him?

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Posted in Championship, International football, Newsnow, Scottish football

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1 Comment

  1. Jarren says:

    It’s quite ridiculous, really.

    Club mentality transferred to national mentality.

    “We don’t care where you come from, you’re one of us now”

    Unless, of course, you’re crap. Then you most certainly are NOT one of us.

    I can’t imagine what it would be like. If I had a grandparent who was born in San Marino, then yeah sure, I’d be tempted to take the offer if they said I’m in the squad.

    But how could I? I have never been there. It’s not my country. How can I feel a sense of pride for a place that is not my own?

    I would want to play for the country where I was born & raised, or at least moved to permanently and which I felt a strong love for.

    Some random country just because my ancestor was born there?

    I may as well play for Tescos Value Range 11.

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