Wigan midfielder McCarthy says no to Scotland
James McCarthy won't be making a late switch to play international football for Scotland after talks with Craig Levein.
James McCarthy has closed the door on possibly switching his international allegiances back to Scotland from the Republic of Ireland. Scotland boss Craig Levein revealed on Friday that he had spoken with the Wigan Athletic youngster about representing his country of birth, but he had been unable to persuade him to change his mind.
McCarthy took the opportunity to represent Ireland after Scotland failed to include him in their youth setup through the various age groups. Having not earned a full cap for Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad however, he could still have represented his home country.
Levein paid a visit to see the player in action in a recent game with Wolves and was impressed by his progress but his efforts to have him in his next squad were spurned.
“I had a brief chat with James but I didn't get any encouragement there at all,” said Levein of his efforts. “As far as I am concerned, the door is closed on that one.
Former Hamilton Academical youth product McCarthy, 19, was overlooked by the Scotland national setup at youth level, despite his obvious potential. Having made his debut with Hamilton aged 15 back in 2006, he was offered the chance to turn out for Ireland at under 17 level, having qualified through his grandfather.
The hugely talented player, who moved to the Latics from the Accies in the summer, has since gone on to represent his adopted nation at various youth levels but he is yet to play for the Ireland senior squad.
Former Scotland boss George Burley also tried to tempt McCarthy to turn out for his country of birth back in 2008, but his advances were rejected by the then 17-year-old. The prospect of a call-up to the full Ireland squad was on the cards then in a friendly with Poland, but the opportunity never materialised.
Since then he has gone on to earn a £1.2 million move south to Wigan and has made five appearances at under 21 level for the Republic of Ireland. After a slow start with the English club, he has rose to prominence of late, scoring two goals in the eight games he has been involved in.