St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson believes Scottish football can only benefit from a growing rivalry between Zander Clark and Liam Kelly for international recognition.
Saints keeper Clark has been named in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad for the double-header against Moldova and Denmark, edging ahead of Kelly, who was selected in the last international break.
Scotland’s number one Craig Gordon is 38, and second choice Jon McLaughlin is 34, meaning that Clark, 29, and 25-year-old Kelly are vying for the goalkeeping role long-term.
Davidson says the freshness is vital to the squad.
“”I heard Steve Clarke talking about how he’s got two really good younger goalies and he’s just having a look at both of them,” he said. “Zander didn’t get in the last squad and I’m sure Liam Kelly’s disappointed he’s not in this one.
“I think it’s good for Scottish football that we’ve got two really good younger goalies who are performing well, at a high level.
“Craig Gordon – I hope he doesn’t mind me saying – is slightly on the older side so we need that sort of younger freshness in the squad. It’s great for the two guys to be competing for the place.”
Clark caught the eye once again with an impressive showing against Dundee United last weekend, when he made a string of saves to ensure his side took three points. Davidson sees development in the player and thinks there is more to come.
“I think goalies get better and more mature as they get older,” he said. “They make better decisions and I think definitely in the last 18 months to two years we’ve seen that with Zander.
“He’s got the right attributes, the right frame and the right mindset. The big thing with Zander is he’s producing the big saves at crucial times in games and that’s a sign of a very good goalie. Hopefully he can go on and get a cap for Scotland.”