Anya earns first Scotland call

23 August 2013 06:19

Watford's Ikechi Anya has won his first Scotland call-up after being named in Gordon Strachan's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Macedonia next month.

The Glasgow-born player, who can play full-back or wide midfield, wins his first international recognition at the age of 25.

Leeds forward Ross McCormack has secured a recall to the squad after Kenny Miller announced his international retirement.

Anya, who was listed as a defender on the Scottish Football Association squad list, was born in Scotland to a Nigerian father and Romanian mother, both of whom are academics.

He began his career at Wycombe but was released by Paul Lambert and moved to Spain to resurrect his career at the Glenn Hoddle Academy following a short spell with Northampton.

Anya impressed in friendly games in Spain and won a contract with Sevilla before moving to Watford last summer after playing spells with several Spanish clubs including Celta Vigo.

Anya established himself as a regular in Watford's run to the Championship play-offs and played in the Wembley defeat to Crystal Palace.

Strachan said: "We knew about him at the end of last year and everybody watched him. When any of my friends watched him they passed on information.

"I spoke to him last night and he was delighted.

"He is a late developer. He has been in Spain playing football and I think he was in the Glenn Hoddle foundation out there.

Source: PA