First team

Gorgie Boys going to Europe and beyond

13 November 2023

The international break is upon us which means scores of Hearts stars will jet off to the far ends of the planet to represent their countries.


Read on to find out who is going where, and what’s at stake…



Zander Clark, Lawrence Shankland – Scotland


Steve Clarke’s side may already have qualification for Euro 2024 all sewn up, but with two group games remaining and a vacant no.1 jersey, there’s all to play for between the sticks.


Zander won his first international cap last month, playing 45 minutes in a 3-1 friendly defeat to France. He’ll be hoping to get the nod again come Thursday when Scotland face Georgia in Tbilisi.


Another opportunity beckons three days later when Hampden plays host Norway in the final group game.


A late addition to the squad, Lawrence joins up with the national team looking to add to his five caps and one goal.


If Scotland better Spain’s results in their remaining two games, then Zander and co will top the group.



Kye Rowles – Australia


The Socceroos kick-off their road to the 2026 World Cup this week when they begin the Second Round of the Asian Qualifiers.


Sharing Group I with Bangladesh, Lebanon and Palestine, the Aussies – who enjoyed a magnificent 2022 World Cup – will be heavy favourites to progress to Round Three.


They host Bangladesh in Melbourne on Thursday before taking on Palestine in Kuwait five days later.



Kenneth Vargas – Costa Rica


Kenneth’s form in a maroon shirt saw him win a first cap for his national side back in September.


A couple of standout performances for the U23s followed, which has seen him named in the senior side for this month’s CONCACAF Nations League quarter-final double header against Panama.


The first leg takes place in San Jose, Costa Rica on Thursday, with the return leg in Panama on Monday.


Whoever emerges victorious will face Honduras or Mexico in the semi-finals.



Calem Nieuwenhof – Australia U23s


The Olyroos have a brace of friendly matches in Saudi Arabia over the next week as they gear up for the AFC U23 Asian Cup in Qatar.


Calem, who has five U23 caps to his name, will be part of the squad that plays Qatar on Friday before taking on Saudi Arabia four days later.



Yutaro Oda – Japan U22s


With places to play for in Japan’s Paris 2024 Olympics squad, Yutaro will hope to make an impression in a Samurai Blue shirt.


He’s part of the U22s squad that face Argentina in a friendly double-header in Japan.


The first match takes place on Saturday, with the second encounter a mere three days later.




Alex Lowry, Aidan Denholm, Lewis Neilson - Scotland U21s


Enjoying a fine campaign so far, the U21s continue their quest to reach the 2025 U21 European Championships with two vital qualifying matches over the next week.


Currently third in Group B, but only three points off Spain in top spot, the young team play Belgium in Roeselade on Friday before facing Hungary in Budapest next Tuesday.