Melton footballer Ollie Burke (18) makes history with senior Scotland debut

Ollie Burke believes he could play a part in Scotland's World Cup qualifying campaign after making his senior debut at Hampden Park on Tuesday.
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Ollie Burke EMN-160330-102411002

The Nottingham Forest winger is thought to have made history as Melton’s first-ever senior international footballer after coming on as an 81st-minute substitute in the friendly against Denmark.

Burke, who began his playing career at Mowbray Rangers, is touted for big things in the game and made his international bow 10 days before his 19th birthday.

The 13-minute cameo in a 1-0 win capped a heady 12 months which has seen him become a first team regular and a fans’ favourite at the City Ground.

But the level-headed teenager stressed his calm appearance, while standing on the touchline waiting to come on, was no act.

“I wasn’t told before the game if I’d get on,” he said. “I was just making sure I was ready at all times to run my socks off.

“When they told me to warm up I just thought ‘it’s about time!’ I need to come on. I was eager as anything to get on the pitch.

“I don’t really get that nervous anymore – I just get pumped up.

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Ollie Burke EMN-160330-102339002

“I was lucky to set foot on Hampden Park and wear the Scotland kit. As an 18-year-old, it’s a big thing for me.

“It was a great experience playing in that game and even the training all week - the sessions were really intense.

“I will take away a lot from it.”

Burke, who was voted Melton Times Junior Sports Personality of the Year in June, was watched from the stands by his mum Sally and step-dad Fraser, who live in Burton Lazars.

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Ollie Burke EMN-160330-102339002

While he has been brought up a Leicestershire lad, Burke was born north of the border in East Kilbride and gets his Scottish genes from his father.

He is happy to have now nailed his colours to the Scotland mast and believes he could get a look in during World Cup qualifying which begins in the autumn.

“I think I have got every chance if I keep improving my game and doing what I’m doing,” he added.

“Right now I need to play every game like it’s my last for Forest.

And his chances of another call from manager Gordon Strachan appear good.

Despite being restricted to a late run-on, Burke still found time to tee up a golden chance for Chris Martin.

Bursting past his opposing full-back down the right, he cut in along the byline before playing an inviting ball across the six-yard box, but the chance went begging.

“I thought Chris had scored to be honest,” he said. “It’s just nice to show the fans a little glimpse of what I’m capable of.”

It has been a stellar season for the former John Ferneley College student who signed a new long-term deal at Forest earlier this year.

Scaling such heights so quickly is enough to turn a young footballer’s head.

But Burke plans to keep his feet firmly on the ground and insists he will not be getting carried away.

He said: “It doesn’t phase me that much; it’s best not to dwell on things or get too excited.

“I’m just focussed on the next game and the next training session.

“I’ve got the right people around me to keep me level-headed and make sure I stay humble!”