Scott McKenna is grateful to former club Aberdeen for allowing him to train at Cormack Park ahead of Scotland’s Euro 2020 campaign.
McKenna’s season at Nottingham Forest in the Championship finished ahead of the Scottish and English top flights, giving him the need for training facilities.
New Dons manager Stephen Glass gave the nod for McKenna to come in and keep sharp, ahead of the national team flying out on a training camp to Spain.
McKenna said: “Between Scotland and Forest, they gave me a programme I had to stick to. Aberdeen were good enough to let me go in and use their facilities once their season had finished. They have a good gym and good facilities to use. It was very kind of them considering the trouble I’ve caused them over the years!”
“It was nice to see some familiar faces. There were a lot of staff there from when I was there. It was good.”
McKenna had chance to catch up with his former Dons colleague Andy Considine, who did not make the cut for Clarke’s final squad.
“I actually bumped in to him on the Tuesday or the Wednesday at Cormack Park and was speaking away to him,” he added. “He was obviously disappointed, but he wished us all the best and wishes the squad all the best.
“He is definitely very grateful for the chance he had. He got three caps in the last six months. He is grateful for that, but I have no doubts he is very disappointed to miss out on such a big camp this summer.”
There has been a change of management since McKenna left Aberdeen for Forest last year, with Derek McInnes replaced by Glass in March.
“I only bumped into him (Glass) a couple of times,” the defender added. “The first time was the day before the Rangers game when they were leaving. Obviously, he signed off to let me use the facilities so I really just thanked him for that and wished him all the best for the game the following day.
“Similar to Forest, they will have a lot of turnover of players this summer and the club is going into a different era after how long Derek McInnes was there for.”
Scotland are in Alicante for a pre-tournament camp, ahead of friendlies against Netherlands and Luxembourg. Their first game of the competition comes against Czech Republic at Hampden Park on June 14.
The game in Glasgow also promises the return of supporters to the national stadium, having been kept away from the majority of Scottish stadia during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I played in front of 2000 away fans at Reading at the start of December, from playing in front of no one to 2,000 it felt like the place was full,” said McKenna.
“I think we are lucky enough to have 12,500 so they will make far more noise than you will probably expect and it is nice for them to have that wee bit of excitement as well, and payback for sticking by us when they have had to stay away from Hampden and watch us on TV.
“I know you don’t bump into so many people because we are restricted to who we can see but definitely with text messages and phone calls and even getting tagged on social media. You can see how much it means to everyone. Obviously that makes us more determined to do well for them when we are given the opportunity in the upcoming games.”
The Kirriemuir-born defender hopes Scotland can deliver on all the excitement generated by the qualification and emerge from the group stages.
“One hundred per cent. It has got to be (the aim),” he said. “We are not just here to make up the numbers.
“One win might be enough but we have to aspire to get more than that one win and make sure we get to the next stage. We are not here to make up the numbers, we have to try to get past that.”