BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
OLIVER BURKE, the most expensive Scottish footballer in history, admits he still has plenty to learn as he seeks to realise his undoubted potential.
The 21-year-old delivered a dazzling reminder of his promise as Scot Gemmill’s under-21 side defeated South Korea 2-1 in the Toulon Tournament on Saturday, showing power, pace and precision to surge from his own half to score a stunning solo strike.
He also bagged the winner as the young Scots saw off France 1-0 in the group phase.
After one season of being a bit-part player in Germany, and being dubbed ‘an empty hard drive’ by the club’s manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, Burke returned to British football last summer when he joined West Brom in a £13m deal.
“I don’t think anything can really prepare you for some of the things you experience in football,” Burke said. “There’s no manual for it.
“You just have to do the best you can to handle each situation. Hard work takes you a long way and I’ve had to work hard to get to where I am. I know I still have a lot to learn and I will make mistakes along the way. Everyone does.
“But I guarantee I will learn from them and be all the better for it. I feel privileged to have had the experiences I have had and I’m enthusiastic about what’s still to come, whether that’s at club level or with Scotland.”
“It’s obviously a tremendous honour to captain your country,” Burke told the Scottish FA website. “In my own way I just try to lead by doing. Everyone in the team because over here everyone has played their part.
“Everyone has had minutes on the park and made a valuable contribution and that’s what has got us to the semi-final stage again. I’m proud of the boys and what we’ve managed to achieve.”