Burke goes up against 
Euro 2016 contenders

Ollie Burke EMN-160106-124913002
Ollie Burke EMN-160106-124913002

Melton’s Ollie Burke came up against Euro 2016 contenders Italy last week when he made his second suibstitute appearance for Scotland.

The 19-year-old came on for Matty Phillips in the 71st minute of Sunday’s friendly against the four-time World Cup winners, played in Malta.

Gordon Strachan’s men were second best to the Azzurri who won 1-0 thanks to Graziano Pelle’s second-half winner.

Burke, who began his career at Mowbray Rangers and has made 24 first team appearances for Nottingham Forest, made his Scotland debut nine days shy of his 19th birthday, as a late substitute in the friendly win over Denmark in March.

Burke could get another chance to test himself tomorrow (Friday) when Scotland take on Euro 2016 hosts France as he seeks to strengthen his claims for a place in the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign.

Strachan told The Sun: “There’s no age barrier, whether you are 19 like Oliver Burke, or 35 like Gordon Greer.

“If you can pass the ball, have intelligence and have an impact on a game of football, you are in.

“I don’t look at age. I get as much enjoyment watching Burke and Barrie McKay as watching Gordon.

“I was there when Paul McStay played for Scotland at 17. Good enough? Bang — get in the team. Don’t hold them back.”