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Scot Gardiner hails Caley Thistle’s youth setup after quartet receive Scotland under-21 call-ups

Caley Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner.
Caley Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner.

Caley Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner has hailed the club’s youth setup after four players were handed their first call-ups to the Scotland under-21 squad.

Cameron Harper, Roddy MacGregor and Robbie Deas, along with Hibernian-bound winger Daniel MacKay have been named in Scot Gemmill’s 24-man squad for the double header against Northern Ireland next month.

Defenders Deas and Harper, along with midfielder MacGregor, were all regulars in the Caley Jags’ side which finished fifth in the Championship last season.

Roddy MacGregor.

There is also a place for winger MacKay, who will leave to join Premiership side Hibs later this month.

Cameron Harper in action against Arbroath

Gardiner said: “In relation to Roddy, Dan and Cameron, it is testimony to the outstanding work our Academy coaches put in to the boys when they were coming through the ranks of our organisation. Their inclusion in the Scotland U21 squad gives all of our boys in our system a massive boost.

“With Academy graduate Ryan Christie also featuring in the Euros Squad this summer, Inverness are proving every year that our players can go all the way to the top.

“And similarly, the work John Robertson and his staff have put in to further develop the boys and transition them from the academy into first team players and stand outs at that, has been exceptional.

“Robbie Deas has also come into the ICT team this season and has been exceptional from start to finish, even playing out of position and excelling at left back. He deserves the recognition.

Robbie Deas.

“Seeing that ICT are second only in numbers to Rangers in the Scotland squad gives all of us such a great sense of pride.

Daniel MacKay celebrates scoring against Ayr United.

“Dan is of course still an Inverness player until his contract expires in June and I’m sure that he acknowledges that this call up has truly been made in Inverness.”

Stephen Kelly, who spent last season on loan at Ross County from Rangers, has also been included.

The Scots will host their Northern Irish opponents at Dumbarton on both occasions, with the first game on Wednesday, June 2 followed by another match on Saturday, June 5.

It will be Scotland under-21s’ first action this year, with only three players remaining from the last squad selected in October.

The double header will kick start Scotland’s preparations ahead of the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers, which get underway in September.

Full squad:
Scott Banks (Crystal Palace), Kieron Bowie (Fulham), Jack Burroughs (Coventry City), Logan Chalmers (Dundee United), Tom Clayton (Liverpool), Robbie Deas (Caley Thistle), Josh Doig (Hibernian), Ethan Erhahon (St Mirren), Lewis Fiorini (NAC Breda, on loan from Manchester City), Cameron Harper (Caley Thistle), Kyle Joseph (Wigan Athletic), Stephen Kelly (Rangers), Brian Kinnear (Rangers), Roddy MacGregor (Caley Thistle), Daniel Mackay (Joining Hibernian from Caley Thistle), Archie Mair (Norwich City), Lewis Mayo (Rangers), Josh McPake (Rangers), Glenn Middleton (St Johnstone, on loan from Rangers), Zak Rudden (Partick Thistle), Cieran Slicker (Manchester City),
Ewan Urain (Athletic Club Bilbao), Stephen Welsh (Celtic), Ben Williamson (Rangers)

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