BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Former Canada and Hamilton manager Colin Miller believes Scott Arfield can realise his World Cup dream after pledging allegiance to the Canucks.
Miller, 51, was capped 61 times for Canada before three stints as interim boss and he is delighted to see Arfield follow in the footsteps of Rangers kid Fraser Aird and QPR star Junior Hoillett by accepting the call from Benito Flores.
He is adamant that Scotland’s loss will be Canada’s gain as they bid to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Arfield has been capped for Scotland at under-19, 21 and ‘B’ level but has never been handed his senior bow and, after choosing to represent the nation of his father’s birth, he is set to be pitched straight into a crucial qualification double-header against Mexico.
Miller, now manager of North American Soccer League outfit FC Edmonton, told Capital City Press: “What is nice to see now – with Fraser Aird as well as Scott Arfield – are players committing themselves to Canada, whereas before the national team didn’t have that strength.
“I’ve no doubt that if I had remained in charge of Canada then Scott [Arfield] is someone I would have pursued. I actively chased Fraser Aird, speaking to Ally McCoist about him, so it is something we need to be selfish about in Canada!
“We want the best players possible and Scott would have definitely been one I wanted to bring in. To bypass guys that are playing at his level of football – for a a country like ourselves – would be very foolish.
“Now we have players in the MLS, English and Scottish football and across Europe. I believe this is the best squad since I played. We only just missed out on the World Cup in the States (1994) and there has been a lack of direction since then.
“With this group there is a bit more quality and some of the more experience players are actually really good players who understand the game.
“It’s been 1986 since Canada qualified – I was in that squad – and the closest we have come was losing to Australia on penalties in 1993. It seems a long time ago . . . I think the dinosaurs were still around! But we’ve got a wee chance this time.”