WE'D LOVE IT IF FLECK BREAKS OUR RECORD; BABES IN THE MOOD... Denis, Willie Hail Cap Hopeful

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), February 11, 2009 | Go to article overview

WE'D LOVE IT IF FLECK BREAKS OUR RECORD; BABES IN THE MOOD... Denis, Willie Hail Cap Hopeful


Byline: BY DAVID McCARTHY

THERE'S a new kid on the block and the old boys he could elbow out of the record books could not be happier.

Denis Law and Willie Henderson will find themselves overtaken as the youngest players in the modern era to have been capped by Scotland if George Burley throws a jersey to Rangers prodigy John Fleck for the World Cup qualifier in Amsterdam next month.

On Monday, Burley indicated his willingness to cap Fleck against the Dutch if he continues to show the form he has displayed for his club in recent weeks and the teenager would become the second-youngest Scot of all time to don the dark blue.

If Fleck gets the nod on March 28, he will be 17 years, seven months and four days old. To beat that you'd have to go back to 1886 to find Queen's Park's John Lambie - not the cursing, smoking, legendary Partick Thistle pigeon racer (or maybe it is) - who was four months younger when capped for Scotland against Ireland.

But Fleck would make history by overtaking Law and Henderson, previously the two youngest Scotland players since they stopped lacing upfootballs.

Manchester United striking legend Law might live south of the border but he gets Scottish papers and watches any SPL games shown in London, so heis already aware of the impact Fleck has made at such a tender age.

And the man who scored on his debut - the first of 30 goals in 55 games - againstWales in October 1958 at 18 years, seven months and 24 days old believes age should prove no barrier to the Rangers starlet.

Law, now 68, said: "Obviously, Fleck hasn't been in the Rangers team for long, so I haven't seen that much of him but I like what I have seen and I know he is making quite an impact in Scotland from the Scottish papers.

"We all like young talent coming through and in this boy we might have unearthed someone exceptional. I certainly hope so because we need all the good players we can find.

"If George Burley is considering him for the Holland game I don't have aproblem with that because if you are good enough, you are old enough.

"I was only 16 when Bill Shankly gave me my debut for Huddersfield Town in 1956, so obviously I believe in giving young players a chance.

"Two years later I was playing for Scotland. That was a huge thrill for an 18-year-old and I was lucky enough to score in my first game against Wales.

"I was also lucky to have a lot of experienced pros around me - guys like Tommy Docherty and Bobby Collins talked me through the game.

"Having several Rangers players in the squad should help him settle."

Law knows Fleck will be nurtured properly at Ibrox under the guidance of manager Walter Smith. …

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