ARBROATH FC’s Connaire Connelly says the experience of playing at St James’ Park will stay with him for the rest of his life despite Scotland Under-18s’ defeat in the Lloyds TSB Cup to England.
And he hopes a professional deal at Arbroath could be awaiting in the future.
The 18-year-old was part of an 18-strong squad assembled by manager Stewart Taylor for their final fixture in the Boys Centenary Shield.
But second-half goals from Michael Sweet and Peter Glen-Ravenhill gave the Auld Enemy a 2-0 victory.
The result leaves Scotland resigned to a fourth-place finish but the midfielder is desperate to continue his development.
The Dundee-born starlet, watched on by former Scotland international Gordon Strachan, was unable to replicate the 4-0 win over Northern Ireland in the opening fixture but believes the experience will stand him in good stead.
He said: “It was a brilliant experience playing at such a great stadium, most of us had never done anything like that before either so it was a really special feeling.
“I have never played at a stadium of that size before so we were all really buzzing about it before the match.
“We were disappointed to have lost the match as it was our last game as a group together but the experience was one I won’t forget.
“This is a really good group of boys we had playing here so I’m sure we will stay in touch and hopefully our paths will cross again in the next few years.
“Hopefully I can push on from this and the aim would be to get a professional deal with Arbroath from here. This is a good springboard and hopefully I can learn from it and push on as a football player.”
Lloyds TSB Scotland, proud partner of the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland under 18 schoolboys squad for their 2012 Centenary Shield Campaign. For all the latest squad news, visit scottishfa.co.uk/ssfa