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Aberdeen midfielder Ross McCrorie targeting Scotland call-up next season

Aberdeen midfielder Ross McCrorie in action.
Aberdeen midfielder Ross McCrorie in action.

Aberdeen midfielder Ross McCrorie is determined to force his way into Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad next season.

Fellow midfielder Lewis Ferguson is the only Dons player in the Scotland squad for the World Cup play-offs.

Scotland will face Ukraine in the play-off semi-final at Hampden on Wednesday.

Should they triumph, the Scots will then face Wales in Cardiff on June 5 with the winner qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

McCrorie believes he is good enough to be in the Scotland squad.

He aims to prove that to Clarke next season – with places in a World Cup squad in November hopefully up for grabs.

Ross McCrories celebrates his goal to make it 2-1 Aberdeen against Dundee.

The 24-year-old said: “Playing for Scotland has been a motivation of mine for a couple of years now.

“It’s up to me just to keep playing at a high level, keep improving each week and get better as a player.

“Hopefully I can catch the eye (of Steve Clarke).

“I got a taste of it last season (2020-21) and certainly feel I am good enough to be in there.

“I just need to keep proving that.”

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie (l) and Celtic’s Jota during a Premiership match in February.

A taste of the Scotland senior squad

McCrorie racked up 20 caps and was captain for Scotland at U21 level.

He was called up to the Scotland squad for the first time in October 2020.

National manager Clarke drafted the Dons midfielder into the senior squad for UEFA Nations League games against Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

He was an unused substitute in those games in October 2020 and still awaits a debut senior cap.

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie and Rangers’ Ryan Jack in action at Ibrox.

Aberdeen’s Player of the Year

McCrorie is confident he will be on the radar of Scotland boss Clarke having delivered a strong domestic campaign, despite Aberdeen’s troubles.

The Dons slumped to a 10th-placed finish in the Premiership.

It was the club’s lowest league finish since 2004.

However, McCrorie believes he had one of his ‘best seasons’ in terms of personal performances.

That belief was vindicated when securing Aberdeen’s Player of the Year gong at the club’s annual awards ceremony earlier this month.

McCrorie played at centre-back under former boss Stephen Glass until he was axed in February.

He has operated in midfield under new gaffer Jim Goodwin.

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie and Max Stryjek of Livingston battle for the ball.

McCrorie said: “Individually, I think it’s probably been one of the best seasons I’ve had in terms of my performances.

“My consistency was good and I was playing at a higher level.

“It’s just unfortunate that as a team we haven’t been good enough.

“You can see that from our standing in the table.”

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie battles with Alex Grieve of St Mirren in the 1-0 loss.

Extra gym work during the summer

McCrorie arrived at Aberdeen in summer 2020 on a season-long loan from Rangers.

The Dons initially agreed a year-long loan for McCrorie and were then set to buy him permanently from Rangers for £350,000 in summer 2021.

However, in January 2021 he completed a permanent switch to Pittodrie earlier than planned when Scott Wright moved to Rangers for £200,000. Aberdeen then paid the remaining £150,000 owed to the Ibrox club.

McCrorie recently committed his long-term future to Aberdeen when signing a two-year contract extension until summer 2026.

Defender Ross McCrorie (left) during an Aberdeen training session.

The Dons Player of the Year revealed he hit the gym to beef up last summer.

He said: “I was playing centre-back for the majority of the season.

“Then since the gaffer came in I have been playing midfield.

“It’s not for me to decide where I play, that’s down to the gaffer.

“I feel I played at a high level at centre-back and my consistency was there.

“It was probably the best season I have had – and obviously I was playing centre-back.

“Before the season started, I worked hard in the gym and I put on a few pounds.

“That helped me, especially when I was playing centre-back.”

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