For the McCann family with strong Northern Irish roots, it’ll fill them with immense pride to see two of their own represent the nation.
Dunfermline and St Johnstone midfielder’s Lewis and Alistair McCann are both Northern Ireland youth internationals. They qualify for these caps through their father Ian and grandparents based in Portadown.
Recently it was the youngest McCann brother, Lewis, who was grabbing headlines. He netted against European powerhouse Germany on Northern Ireland U19s duty during a 1-1 draw.
On the domestic scene he is one of Dunfermline’s hottest prospects. At 18, he’s played eight Championship games for the Pars this term as he continues to show his star potential.
Now McCann is eyeing more international caps with Northern Ireland with, in his light-hearted opinion, his less talented brother to use as an inspiration of sorts.
“I was away with the Northern Ireland U19s last week and I enjoyed it a lot,” McCann said. “We got the result against Germany and I felt that I did quite well throughout the game as I linked the play and scored goals as well.
“To get the result against them, you were left thinking ‘did that really happen?’ It was a brilliant experience.
“Northern Ireland were the first country that came to me. I don’t really have a preference what country I play for. My dad’s from Northern Ireland, my mum’s from London and I was born here in Scotland. I’m just a mix of everything!
“It’s obviously nice when someone comes in. Once you’re in a squad, you want to push to the next one and keep going. My target is to be in the U21s squad consistently.
“My brother Alistair at St Johnstone is in the U21s squad. So it’s like, if he’s there, it’s simple now as I think I’m better than him. We bounce off each other, it’s more friendly banter.
“It’s good to have someone so close to you in the same line of sport as you. He gave me a bit of stick about the Stranraer result, but it’s just a laugh.”