Hammell out of Future game

Motherwell defender Steven Hammell has been forced to pull out of Tuesday’s Scotland Future game – leaving manager Walter Smith with just 16 fit players to take on Austria.

Motherwell defender Steven Hammell has been forced to pull out of Tuesday’s Scotland Future game – leaving manager Walter Smith with just 16 fit players to take on Austria.

The Fir Park stalwart, who has one senior cap to his name, was sent back home after reporting for duty with both ankle and hamstring problems.

Smith said: “It wouldn’t have been fair to take him under the circumstances so that is us down to 16.

“We could obviously have taken far more than that but you can only play up to six substitutes anyway so we will just go with the 16 players that we have got.

“And that means that everybody will get an opportunity to get a game.”

Hammell joins Brighton defender Adam Virgo and Dundee United utility man Mark Wilson, Celtic goalkeeper David Marshall and Blackburn striker Paul Gallagher on the sidelines.

Hearts defender Christophe Berra, Scotland U21 captain Jamie McCunnie of Ross County and Inverness goalkeeper Mark Brown were called up as replacements yesterday, with Brown filling the gap left by Marshall after Smith agreed with Hoops boss Martin O’Neill to leave him behind ahead of the final Old Firm derby of the season in a week’s time.

Young Celtic strikers Shaun Maloney and Craig Beattie did fly out to Vienna earlier today, however.

Gallagher was removed from the squad because of a midweek club fixture while Wilson and Virgo are both injured.

Smith made it clear he had no complaints about the absentees. He said: “The managers have been very helpful in getting a squad together.”

The game, which holds B international status, will be played in the Pappelstadion in Mattersburg on Tuesday April 19.

It is part of a four-nation tournament also featuring Germany, Poland and Turkey, with the Scots having lost 3-0 in Germany in December.

Scotland Future squad: Craig Gordon (Hearts), Mark Brown (Inverness), David McNamee (Livingston), Ian Murray (Hibernian), Jamie McCunnie (Ross County), Steven Watt (Chelsea), Christophe Berra (Hearts), Mark Fotheringham (Dundee), Gary McDonald (Kilmarnock), Scott Severin (Aberdeen), Jamie Smith (Den Haag), Peter Sweeney (Millwall), Craig Beattie (Celtic), Shaun Maloney (Celtic), Sam Parkin (Swindon).

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