Skotlandia akan berada di Piala Dunia musim dingin ini… semacam itu.
Mereka tidak akan secara fisik berada di Qatar karena gagal lolos, tetapi Anda hampir bisa membuat tim penuh dari pemain yang akan berada di sana yang memiliki ikatan dengan Tentara Tartan.
In fact, that’s pretty much what Australia have done for the World Cup.
Manager Graham Arnold has called up seven players who currently play in the Scottish Premiership as well as multiple Scotland-born players.
Surprisingly, this is not as weird as it may seem with the connection between the two countries dating back to the 1920s.
Australia’s squad includes so many players with ties to Scotland that it has led to them being labelled as the ‘Jockeroos’.
Nathaniel Atkinson, Kye Rowles and Cameron Devlin all play for Hearts while Celtic’s Aaron Mooy will also be in Qatar.
Dundee United’s Aziz Behich and Hibernian’s Martin Boyle will both also be there alongside midfielder Keanu Baccus who joined St Mirren in the summer.
Upon arrival in the Middle East, Baccus spoke about possibly having the support of the Scottish fans as well as life after leaving the A-League.
He said: “Without Scotland in the World Cup, they’ll definitely be backing us, I think.
‘It’s a great league. There’s a lot of Aussie boys going over there from the A-League, which is good for us as a national team and us moving forward.”
Devlin has also spoken about having so many of his international teammates in the same league.
“I feel like playing over there now, after every game, there’s an Aussie there to chat to in every team, which is so good and makes you feel at home.” he said.
As well as this, former Dundee and Hibs striker Jason Cummings will be at the World Cup to lead the line for the Socceroos despite being born in and making senior appearances for Scotland.
Cummings is a dual citizen of the UK and Australia and his mother was born in Perth so he was able to make his international debut in September.
Striker Boyle was also born in Scotland and has a dual citizenship, switching allegiance to the country of his father’s birth in 2018.
As strange as it may seem, the connection between Scotland and Australia is not a new one.
Football’s origins come from Scotland and as many migrated, the game was brought to Australia. This then spread in popularity and a lot of the first clubs down under were created by the Scots.
The game then grew due to the influx of Scottish migrants and ever since it has led to a strong connection between the two countries.
A century ago, the Socceroos named their first-ever World Cup squad and it included three Scotland-born players.
Dave and Jock Cumberford were involved alongside William McBride and all were born in Scotland before representing Australia.
The Cumberford brothers would play in all three of the Aussies’ first-ever international matches.
In total since then, 115 of the 954 players to have ever received a cap for Australia have been Scotland-born.
This has led to many Australians heading to play football in the Scottish Premiership including the seven named in the squad alongside another five left at home.
Scotland fans might not have their own country to support in the World Cup but they will be sure to keep an eye on Australia throughout the tournament.
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