Evening Express

Aberdeen teen Ferguson set to shine as he makes his debut in U21s squad

Aberdeen FC's Lewis Ferguson. Picture by Chris Sumner

After having a taste of international football at Under-19 level, Lewis Ferguson is aiming to make an impact with Scotland Under-21s.

The Aberdeen starlet has been called up to the U21s for the first time for tonight’s European Championship qualifier with Andorra at Tynecastle and Tuesday’s clash with the Netherlands in Doetinchem.

The 19-year-old was previously involved in Scotland U19s campaign to make the summer’s European Championships.

In March the Scots faced Germany, Holland and Norway in the elite group stage with Ferguson featuring in all three games as the Dark Blues finished with three points after beating the Dutch.

He also played in a friendly against France last October.

After that experience in Donald Park’s team, Ferguson hopes he can carry his Dons form into Scot Gemmill’s set-up for the crunch qualifiers.

He said: “It does help because international football is different to what I was used to with Scottish football.

“I was used to Scottish football where it was physical and a battle most of the time.

“Then we played Germany and we beat Holland, but the way they played was different.

“The style was different, we were running about chasing them. France were the same when we played them.

“They kept the ball off us for long periods, we learned how to sit in our shape and be compact and be dogged and don’t let them play through you.

“I thought we did well at that, we managed to change our own games to force Germany and France to play in front of us.

“That does help me because they were top players and they play a different style of football. So that helps me going into this.

“I think I’m playing well at the minute so hopefully I can just take that form and confidence I get into playing Andorra and Holland and show what I can do.”

Having moved from Hamilton to Aberdeen in the summer Ferguson says he wasn’t thinking about international call-ups. He was more concerned with hitting the ground running for the Dons, and he’s done that starting all seven games for the Reds this term.

Ferguson is in the U21s squad alongside team-mate Frank Ross and says he is proud to be called up after the U19s experience whetted his appetite. He added: “It means a lot to me. I didn’t really think about that, I was just concentrating on football.

“I was away with the Under-19s last year at the Euros and I’ve had a taste of it.

“We played top teams like Germany and Holland and some of them were playing for Bayern Leverkusen’s first team so you’re against top players.

“I never thought about the 21s – I was just concentrating on playing for Aberdeen. But I came in from training one day and it was Mikey Devlin who had seen it on Twitter and he congratulated me.

“I’m really proud and I want to go away there and play.

“I don’t want to just be involved, I want to play and show what I can do.”

This qualifying double header is crucial for the young Scots. With four games to go they’re fourth in Group Four, eight points behind leaders England, but just three behind the Netherlands in second.

Finishing as runners-up could give the Scots a play-off place.

After tonight’s game with Andorra and next week’s encounter with the Dutch the Dark Blues take on Ukraine in Kiev and England at home next month.

Ferguson knows the importance of getting results in the next two games to keep qualification hopes alive going into the final fixtures.

He said: “We drew Andorra earlier this year, we’ve still got a chance with England and Ukraine to play.

“If we go and get results in these two games, then who knows?”