Caley Thistle vice-captain Graeme Shinnie is not giving up on his dream of playing for Scotland despite being omitted from the latest international squad.
Shinnie’s form for Inverness has led to him being tipped for international honours, but there was no place for him in Gordon Strachan’s squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Nigeria.
Aberdonian Shinnie, who has been linked with a move to the Dons, is relaxed about his international prospects, but would love the chance to follow in his brother Andrew’s footsteps and represent his country.
He said: “I’m an experienced player now and that can only be of benefit to me. My brother was called up to the Scotland squad when he was here and if the team does well then why can’t other players get the call?
“When I first came here there was never any talk of international football, but the club has progressed. Billy Mckay is away with every Northern Ireland squad and the opportunity is there at this club now to stake a claim.
“I don’t think about it as I’m happy here and doing well here is my main aim. I’m trying to better myself and keep progressing as a footballer. I’m 23 in August but I feel older due to the time I’ve been here.”
The Inverness full back played a key role in the club’s campaign, helping the Highlanders achieve a top six finish for the second year in a row and a first League Cup final.
Defeat to Aberdeen stopped Inverness from winning their first major trophy but Shinnie believes his side can go one better next term.
He said: “We’ve had two top six finishes in a row, bettering our tally each year, and reached a cup final so it has been two good seasons for us.
“Getting to a cup final was a massive achievement for us but next year we want to do the same but hopefully go on and win a cup.
“It was frustrating that we didn’t kick on in the second half of the season. I don’t know whether we took our foot off the gas but our hunger for winning something is even greater now.
“It was always going to be difficult to stay where we were in second place, but we managed to pick up points to stay in the top six, which is a bigger achievement than people perhaps realise.”