It was magnificent to see Scott McKenna captain Scotland against Mexico.
The Aberdeen centre-back skippered the national side in the 1-0 defeat at the Azteca Stadium yesterday morning in what was just his fourth cap.
The 21-year-old must be pinching himself and wondering “is life really like this?”
From where he was at Ayr United a year ago, he couldn’t have in his wildest dreams imagined he would be captaining his country a year later.
But he has done it on the back of good performances and magnificent attitude and what an accolade it is for him to get the captaincy so early in his international career.
It’s a fabulous honour for any player, I managed to do it 11 times, but it was much later in my career before I got the opportunity.
It’s a great honour for McKenna, his family and Aberdeen.
I was 28 when I first captained the national team in 1983, which is quite a difference from McKenna and I had over 20 caps by that stage. So it’s incredible to see McKenna as skipper this early in his international career – but it is fully merited on the back of his performances at club and international level.
He is a great example to any youngster to never give up hope and always be positive because I think a year ago McKenna had question marks in his mind about where his career was going a year ago.
If he keeps performing like this there is no doubt he will remain at the heart of Alex McLeish’s Scotland defence going forward into the UEFA Nations League and European Championship qualifiers.
Another positive aspect of the South American tour was seeing Dons captain Graeme Shinnie get his first start for Scotland against Mexico.
I think it is merited because there is no doubt that he can play at that level, he’s been consistently good as captain of Aberdeen, the second best team in Scotland.
That is one of the main positives of this tour. It has allowed Shinnie to go and play against good quality opposition and show McLeish he is capable of performing at international level.
In the game I thought it was spirited performance from the Scots. They were a bit more aggressive going forward than the Peru game.
They did ride their luck and could have lost a handful of goals.
But they didn’t give up and showed a good attitude to give Mexico something to think about defensively in the second half and they were unlucky not to score against a very good Mexican team.