From Hawick to Hazard as Thomson gets national call

Hearts Vs Hibs, Tynecastle'Hea: Scott Robinson'Hibs:  Kevin Thomson
Hearts Vs Hibs, Tynecastle'Hea: Scott Robinson'Hibs: Kevin Thomson

Peebles footballer Kevin Thomson has been backed to perform against the stars of Belgium less than a week after facing Hawick Royal Albert.

Thomson earned a surprise recall to the Scotland squad on Monday, just 48 hours after he turned out for Hibs Under-20s in a East of Scotland First Division game against the Royalists, which his side won 9-0.

But Hawick secretary Dougie Purves says manager Gordon Strachan should have no fears about including the 28-year-old in his starting line-up, against the likes of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and new Manchester United signing Marouane Fellani, for tomorrow night’s World Cup qualifying match at Hampden.

Purves told The Southern: “I think he has the mentality to do a job for Scotland if called upon.

“Thomson may lack some match fitness, but I don’t think he would be out of his depth.

“He is a classy player and was so comfortable on the ball when he played against us.”

Speaking to The Southern after the game, and before his call-up to Scotland, Thomson said: “With being suspended, I just wanted a game, and it was a good workout. It was great to get 90 minutes under my belt.

“I hope to be back in the first team after the international break.”

Hawick are without Kevin Strathdee for their home match with Kelso United this weekend. Purves added: “This will be a test of character for our lads after the Hibs defeat.”

Also in the First Division, Peebles Rovers host Easthouses Lily. Rovers are unbeaten in three games and manager John O’Hara said: “We want to get Peebles away from its Mickey Mouse status of the past and make Whitestone Park a fortress.”

At Netherdale, Gala Fairydean Rovers and Selkirk go head-to-head in an intriguing Lowland League derby, with a number of former Souter players jumping ship to Gala in the summer.

Gala coach Stevie Noble said: “We have heard Selkirk have been a bit unlucky so far and I am sure both they and ourselves will find our feet in the league soon.

“But we see this as a great opportunity to pick up our first three points.” Gala are without injured Ryan Grant.

Lowland League table toppers Vale of Leithen host Edinburgh City.