"Me and my grandfather used to speak about playing for Scotland a lot, and it is a real honour for me to finally get the chance." - Jamie Mackie
Let's be honest, Scotland's latest recruit for the international squad for the double-header against the Czech Republic and Spain is English, even if his grandad was a proud Scot from Kilmarnock. Not that I hold that against him. After all, I'm English too - and if I'd been any good at football I'm sure I'd have been ringing my agent to find out whether my maternal great grandmother from Ayrshire was any use. As it was, my mother and I always supported Scotland and my father England. That was down more to gentle family rivalry and a certain romantic attachment than wafer-thin kinship - but sometimes feelings run deeper than blood. Or even logic.
As for young Jamie, I watched him play many times when I was living down in Devon and went to see Exeter City. He's transformed into a fine young player. I suspect most Grecians fans will be less concerned at his turn to Scotland than they were at his defection to loathed neighbours Plymouth Argyle! But now he's got used to wearing a bit of blue at QPR, and I hope Craig Levein stays with his instincts and gives Mackie a spin against the Czechs. He's quick, tricky, and has a goal poacher's instincts. Admittedly the step up from the English Championship to this kind of Euro international is a large one, but we have relatively few options and fortune does indeed reward the brave in football. Sometimes. Yep, I know, the grandparent rule is a bit daft. But that's the way it is. 'Mon Jamie!