Falkirk boss Peter Houston insists Fraser Aird & Luca Gasparotto can enjoy top-level careers as they prepare to face Scotland with Canada



FALKIRK boss Peter Houston reckons former Rangers duo Fraser Aird and Luca Gasparotto remain destined for the big time as they prepare to star against Scotland.

The Canadian pair failed to make the cut at Ibrox, albeit Aird did make 80 appearances for the club largely during their years in the lower reaches of the SPFL pyramid.

Having pursued first-team football elsewhere, Gasparotto starred for Morton before joining Falkirk last summer, while winger Aird also arrived at the Bairns after cancelling his deal with the Gers in January following a brief stint on loan with Vancouver Whitecaps.

It is understood both players will be named in Michael Findlay’s squad to face Scotland next Wednesday, a reward for their fine form during Falkirk’s recent nine-game unbeaten run in the Championship.

And, as they prepare to cross swords with the likes of Darren Fletcher, Robert Snodgrass and Scott Brown, Houston has no doubt they can go on to perform on a higher stage.

He said: “Both boys were let go, but they are good enough to play – certainly – at this level, and still young enough to kick on and play at that higher level again once they have experience of first-team football.

“Fraser [Aird] has bags of pace and actually has good ability. I was fortunate enough to get him in.

“Sometimes at big clubs like Rangers, younger players don’t get the opportunities. Mark Warburton didn’t feel he would enhance Rangers’ team – so that is lucky for me.

“There comes a time when you are at Rangers and Celtic when you need to go and play. Lewis Kidd, who I have here, has done it too.

(Pic: canadasoccer.com)

“You say ‘I could have 300 games for Celtic or Rangers reserves, or do I get 300 playing for Falkirk?’ I’d say that to any young player – if you aren’t going to get a chance then go and play somewhere else.

“You can call yourself a Celtic or Rangers player all your life but hardly ever play – that isn’t a career.”

While Houston is delighted by the prospect of his Ontario-born charges lining up against Gordon Strachan’s side in six days, there will be no split loyalties when he settles down to watch the friendly at Easter Road.

(PIc: Gordon Whyte @geewho59)

The former Scotland assistant manager smiled: “I know they are excited about it and are really looking forward to it. It’s a great chance for them to go and play against guys playing in the English Premier League and Championship. It will be a good test for them.

“Don’t get me wrong – I hope Scotland beat them! I want Scotland to win every game they play, I’ve got no qualms about that.”