Kean backs Hanley call

Rovers boss predicts international future for compatriot

Hanley: First Scotland call-up

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Blackburn boss Steve Kean has backed youngster Grant Hanley to embark on a long international career after earning his first Scotland call-up.

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Hanley was included in Craig Levein's 22-man squad for their Carling Nations Cup opener against Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday 9th February.

The centre-half, 19, has impressed in his seven games with Rovers since penning a long-term deal last summer, and Kean believes his compatriot can now kick on with Scotland.

"I had a meeting with Craig Levein who came down to the training ground last week with Michael Oliver, his scout, and we had a good chat about Grant.

"He's been named in this squad and I think they have a foreign tour at the end of the season so hopefully he can be involved in that as well.

"I think that Grant can provide pace and aggression with his defending.

"I don't think Scotland have a great deal of young central defenders coming through, so if he can grab that shirt he could end up being there for a very long time."

Future

Levein is exited by the prospect of pairing Hanley with Liverpool's Danny Wilson, 19, as the Scotland boss plans the long-term future of the national side.

"Grant is a young lad who has impressed in the short time he's been involved in Premier League matches," said Levein.

"I've watched him myself four times and I believe very firmly he has the attributes to be a top-class centre-back.

"When I look at him and young Danny Wilson, this was an opportunity for me to have a look at those two together in a competitive environment, training with the rest of the players.

"I do believe in the years ahead that those two could very well form the centre-back pairing for Scotland.

"When I look at the quality of those young lads, I don't want to put any brakes on them.

"If they are playing at a level that indicates to me they are capable of playing international football, then their age will be no barrier."