BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Scott Arfield admits he chose to switch allegiances to Canada after realising he would never fulfil his international ambitions with Scotland.
However, the Livingston-born midfielder insists he is not bitter about being continually overlooked by his homeland.
The Burnley star, who came through the youth ranks with Falkirk, has been named in Benito Flores’ squad for the upcoming World Cup qualification double-header against Mexico.
Arfield, 27, has been capped for Scotland at under-19, 21 and ‘B’ level but has never been handed his senior bow despite 131 appearance for the Clarets – 37 of those coming in the Barclay’s Premier League.
And he has decided his best chance of playing international football is by committing to the country of his father’s birth.
He said: “I’ve played youth football for Scotland, under-19s and 21s, and I’m a ‘B’ international, but nothing materialised for me there.
“There was no ill-feeling towards Scotland. I just felt that when I was getting on in my career that this was the best opportunity for me to play international football. It’s one I am delighted to take.
“As my career progressed, you play club football for so long you want to be an international footballer and I thought for my career it would be best suited for Canada.
“It’s not just football, it’s life experience. You can see things and go places you’re never going to go so I’m hoping it will be a very positive step in my career.
“It’s been a long journey. I actually made my decision a year ago and it is great to finally be here.
Arfield’s father was born in Toronto and has been delighted by Scott’s decision to ply his trade with the Canucks as they attempt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
He told theprovince.com: “My dad is so happy! He was absolutely delighted when I made my decision.
“My mind was made up a while ago but we had to send the paperwork through and he was very proud.”
Arfield also revealed that Burnley teammate and Canada stalwart David Edgar helped to broker his change of nationality.
He added: “He’s been very instrumental in it to be fair as he was the link between the manager [Flores] and myself. He’s Canadian through and through so he’s very passionate and patriotic.”