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Tommy Conway targets senior Scotland call-up as Steve Clarke chats revealed

Scotland U21 striker Tommy Conway has admitted that he wants to play for the senior side soon. 

The Bristol City man, who has one goal in five youth caps, is eager to play at the pinnacle of football, and that includes on an international level: “As a footballer, you want to play at every level possible”, he said.

“I want to play at the highest level of the UK and I want to play in the Scotland first-team.

“I do understand that Steve Clarke has a very settled squad which I respect highly. I’ve just got to be patient and keep doing what I’m doing at club level and hopefully that leads to a call-up.”

Already, Conway’s talents have been noticed by Clarke. He, along with two of his U21 teammates, joined the senior side for a training camp previously. 

The young hitman revealed what he was told by the boss: “Steve Clarke, the gaffer, pulled me and he was really impressed and he said ‘keep doing what you’re doing at club level and with the 21s and hopefully I’ll see you soon’.

“I’ve just tried to have that in the back of my mind, [if] I keep doing what I’m doing, ultimately I’ll get the reward.

“If I’m in his good books and I’m doing well when I’m away with them, then ultimately I’m going to reap the rewards in the long run.”

The striker seems eager to break into the senior squad, and his goals against West Ham in the FA Cup at the beginning of the year would have done his chances no harm. 

Conway’s City side went into the third-round tie against Premier League opposition as drastic underdogs. His iconic, arrowed finish at the London Stadium, though, earned Bristol a replay at Ashton Gate. 

A sell-out crowd made for an electric atmosphere that was cranked up a notch when Conway netted what turned out to be the only goal of the game three minutes in. Both strikes defied the attacker’s belief. 

He said: “[They were] unbelievable to be honest, especially the away one.

“It is surreal when you do that against Premier League opposition. I have watched West Ham before in the past, going to games, so to play on that pitch and things like that is surreal.”

As well as providing him with lifelong memories, the goals against the Hammers gave Conway a glimpse of what it could be like to shine for the Scotland senior team: “For Bristol City, playing against West Ham, beating them in front of a sell-out, taking 9,000 to the Olympic Stadium – it’s big moments, and Scotland going to the Euros is another big moment”, he said.  

“To play in those big moments and those sorts of matches is what you dream of and having an impact like I did by scoring, it just makes you want to keep doing it over and over again so hopefully I can do that.”

Ahead of the Somerset-born forward in the striking pecking order are the likes of Lawrence Shankland, Che Adams, and Lyndon Dykes. The two latter have particularly made notable contributions over the past few years, and Conway wants to replicate their antics.

He stated: “What they’ve done for Scotland when they’ve been away is a huge credit to them.

“Like you said, they’re role models at the end of the day and I want to be exactly like them so like I said, in the near future, I can be one of them.”

If Conway wants to one day replace the likes of Shankland and Dykes in the squad, he must continue impressing for the U21s. That starts this Thursday against Kazakhstan in a crucial Euro U21 qualifier. 

Conway is aiming to bag a few goals in the game: “I’m really looking forward to it”, quipped the centre-forward.

“It’s been a while since I’ve played with the 21s and I always enjoy it when I come away so hopefully I get on the scoresheet a couple times and we’ll see what happens from there.

“It’s a change of scenery, and playing with different players, I always look forward to these occasions so hopefully we get the win as well.”

Kick-off for Thursday’s clash, which takes place at St. Mirren’s SMISA Stadium, is at 7 pm as the youngsters look to further their chances of making it back-to-back Euros’ for the Tartan Army. 

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