Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds today insisted a short summer break is small sacrifice for the chance of finally realising his Scotland cap dream.
The 30-year-old centre-back is with the national squad at Mar Hall in Renfrew as they prepare for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against England at Hampden.
National boss Gordon Strachan cut an initial 29-man squad down to 24 just days after Aberdeen lost 2-1 to Celtic in the Scottish Cup final.
Centre-back Reynolds remained but Dons team-mate Kenny McLean dropped out of the revised squad.
Reynolds had to cancel an already booked family holiday in the sun upon receiving confirmation of his call-up.
However, the stopper is happy to give up the good life in Tenerife to be involved in the high stakes showdown against Group F leaders England.
Reynolds has been involved in previous squads but has yet to get game time and is desperate for that first cap.He said: “Being involved in the Scotland squad to face England is a huge bonus after the recent season with Aberdeen.
“It would be even better if I was selected.
“If I can get that elusive first cap it would be great
“I’ve been away a lot with the Scotland squad and felt comfortable when I’ve trained with them, so it would be great to get on the park.
“Going back to Hampden so soon after the Scottish Cup final is fantastic, and I would be happy with even 30 seconds on the pitch to get that cap.”
Reynolds had been involved in previous Scotland squads under Strachan including the Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany in Dortmund in 2014. His last international call-up was for the 1-0 friendly win over Qatar at Easter Road in June 2015.
Reynolds was an unused substitute.
A month later the defender suffered a dislocated shoulder during the second half the 1-1 Europa League first qualifying round, first leg tie with KF Shkendija in Macedonia.
He subsequently had to undergo surgery and was sidelined for three months.
Reynolds said: “I was last involved with Scotland a couple of years ago, before I hurt my shoulder. I was a bit worried I’d fallen off the radar.
“We know Gordon Strachan comes up to watch our games.
“He is watching and will reward players.
“I know if I kept playing and doing well Gordon Strachan would notice that.
“I am 30 but defenders are supposed to reach their peak around that age. Gordon Greer didn’t start playing for Scotland until late in his career.”
During the build-up to Strachan’s squad announcement talk had been of call-ups for McLean and newly appointed Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie.
Having been two years since his previous involvement Reynolds had planned to jet off on holiday.
He said: “I was due to go away and had booked a holiday in Tenerife.
“Playing England at Hampden is something you’d happily cancel your holiday for.”
Reynolds’ involvement with Scotland has slashed his summer holidays to little more than a few weeks after a gruelling 53-game season.
Following Saturday’s World Cup qualifier he will finally get that family holiday before returning to pre-season training with the Dons for their European campaign.
He was delighted to receive an extra two weeks off when the Dons skipped the opening phase of the Europa League. Aberdeen were initially scheduled to enter at the first qualifying round stage on June 29.
However, the Dons will now enter at the second qualifying round on July 13 following Manchester United’s 2-0 win in the Europa League final over Ajax.
Aberdeen will also be seeded when they enter Europe.
Reynolds said: “I had a week off after the Scottish Cup final before meeting up with the Scotland squad. “After the qualifier against England I am away for 10 days then come back to Pittodrie to start to get ready for Europe.
“It was a huge boost when Manchester United won the Europa league as it meant we could go into the second round.
“Otherwise we would only have had two weeks off.”