Aberdeen defender Andy Considine admitted his whirlwind Scotland experience was “the most emotional six days of his career”.
The 33-year-old was handed his long-awaited first cap in Sunday’s 1-0 win against Slovakia and kept his place for Wednesday’s victory against the Czech Republic by the same scoreline.
He became Scotland’s oldest debutant since Celtic goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson won his first cap in 1967 at the age of 36.
But for the long-serving Dons defender it was worth the wait.
Considine said: “From getting the call, it was the most emotional six days of my career if I am honest.
“I phoned my wife and my family to let them know.
“I was then rushing to get a Covid test and then was waiting to hear back from the SFA.
“I was on the road down to Oriam first thing on Friday morning to train with the team.
“I trained with them on Friday and Saturday and I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I would get any game time.
“But I was lucky that a space became available due to injury.
“We did a walkthrough of the shape on Sunday morning and that was when the manager told me it would be my first cap and I would be playing.
“I didn’t have much time to think about it as the game was that night. It was just a case of ‘here we go’, and you would maybe prefer that.”
Considine won’t forget the moment he told his family he had been called up by his country, especially his father and former Aberdeen player Doug.
He said: “The first port of call was to phone the wife, who was on her way to get her hair done.
“She is 34 weeks pregnant and was crying… They were happy tears. And then I phoned my mum and dad… I spoke to my siblings, who were over the moon.
“To be part of two games, winning both games, keeping the back door shut and helping the team for when November comes around – it was great to be a part of that.”
The victories over Slovakia and Czech Republic have left Scotland four points clear at the top of their Nations League group and stretched an unbeaten run to eight games under Steve Clarke ahead of next month’s Euro 2020 play-off final against Serbia in Belgrade.
He said: “We knew the Czech Republic would be a better team than Slovakia. When we went 1-0 up, we felt like we were going to do it, but it was like going to Celtic Park or Ibrox as we were defending against waves of attack from then on. We rode our luck at certain times, but as a team we defended very well.
“To be part of the team and win both of those games to set them up well for November is something I will never forget.
“They are a really good group of guys. I have played against the majority of them and played alongside Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack and Ryan Fraser at Aberdeen.
“It was great seeing him (Ryan Fraser), as I haven’t seen him since he left when he was 17 or 18.
“It was nice to catch up with them and there was momentum after the win against Israel. You could see how happy everyone was.
“We kept the momentum going by beating Slovakia and everyone was bouncing all over the place. It was great.
“The biggest thing the manager said was getting the win against the Czech Republic would keep the momentum going and make our life so much easier.”
Considine says his full focus is now on helping deliver an Aberdeen victory against Dundee United at Tannadice tomorrow.
“Hopefully doing well with Aberdeen between now and November can keep me in the manager’s thoughts,” he said.
“The beauty of football is that you don’t have a lot of time to think about what just happened.
“Now it is time to think about Dundee United on Saturday as that is a huge game for us to keep our momentum going.
“It is a massive month with the semi-final coming up against Celtic. We have our game in hand against Hamilton (on Tuesday).
“If we can have a good month then it could spur us on for the rest of the season.”