Hamilton midfielder Lewis Smith wants to cap his first Scotland Under-21 call-up by beating Lanarkshire rivals Motherwell.
The 19-year-old was stunned and delighted to be selected in Scot Gemmill’s squad for the forthcoming European Championship qualifiers against San Marino and Croatia.
It was reward for his impressive start to the season but before he turns his attention to next month’s internationals there is the matter of the derby with Motherwell.
As a Hamilton fan, Smith knows exactly what this match means to their supporters and he would love to help secure them three points.
Smith said: “Obviously I’m really happy and excited, it was unexpected. I’m buzzing about it and I’m grateful for the gaffer for showing faith in me and hopefully I can keep paying him back.
“Jamie (Hamilton) and myself getting called up for Scotland is an extra bonus for us.
“Any game we want to win but a derby gives everyone that bit extra to try to get the three points.
“To my family it means a lot and to the fans, Motherwell is the team they most want to beat at the start of every season.
“So if we can give them that hopefully they will get behind us and push us over the line.
“I’ve been to plenty of derbies, there are a few that stick out like when we beat Motherwell 5-0 a few years ago. It’d be a dream if we could do something like that but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves, we need to just focus on getting the three points.”
Smith made his Hamilton debut last October but injury and illness restricted him to just four appearances last term.
But he has grasped his chance under Brian Rice this season and has scored two goals in six outings.
He said: “Obviously the gaffer said to me at the end of last season if I came back for pre-season, was fit and did well then he’d give me a chance and he’s been true to his word.
“Thankfully I’ve managed to do okay and keep my spot in the team, so hopefully I can keep doing well and he’ll keep playing me.
“The manager is really encouraging but obviously when he needs to be he can be a bit more harsh. But so far he’s put a lot of faith in me and trust and it’s good to have someone that has lots of confidence in you.”
While Smith has been called up for Scotland Under-21, 17-year-old Jamie Hamilton has received his first call up for Scotland Under-19s.
Hamilton impressed on his debut against Kilmarnock last weekend.
Hamilton said: “My debut was not unexpected as I’ve been wanting to do it for a while. It was great to get first team football in a competitive game.
“I had a bit of time to think about it all, before the game I was a bit nervous but once I got going and playing I was fine.
“It gave me more confidence to keep pushing and hopefully get more appearances.”
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