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Steve Clarke: It's the 'right opportunity' to add Ben Doak to Scotland's Euro 2024 squad

Scotland boss Steve Clarke believes teenager Ben Doak can provide the team with something unique in the final third, after he was picked in the provisional 28-man squad for Euro 2024.

The 18-year-old winger, a key player for the under-21s, has been included in the senior squad for the first time for the showpiece in Germany, despite spending the majority of this year recovering from a knee injury.

"Ben's obviously got a lot of talent, he catches your eye," said head coach Clarke. "The pace is something we haven't got an abundance of in the squad. He's something a little bit different. He's a young man, he's got a lot to learn in the game.

"I've never had the chance to work closely with Ben, but it just felt like the right opportunity to put him in. The squad going from 23 to 26 just made it something I thought I should do, so we'll have a look at Ben and see how he does."

Bristol City defender Ross McCrorie is the only other uncapped player in the squad, while 32-year-old Celtic winger James Forrest has earned a recall almost three years after winning his last cap at the previous European Championships in 2021.

"James Forrest, where do you start?" said Clarke. "If ever there's an example to young players on how to conduct yourself if things are not going well for you at your club, I think James epitomises that.

"Train well, work well, keep your head down, keep believing and you never know, maybe the head coach will pick you for your country again. And that's what he's done.

"He's had a fantastic finish to the season. And he obviously brings a bit of experience having been part of the squad for the last Euros. It will be nice to see James again."

Norwich defender Grant Hanley and Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack have been included despite their lack of game time at club level in recent months following injuries.

"Ryan's been quite an important part of the squad in my time as head coach," said Clarke. "He missed the last Euros through injury and he hasn't had the best finish to the season with Rangers, but I know he has been fit for the last two or three weeks and just hasn't been selected at the club, which is unfortunate for Ryan.

"But I think he deserves to be there. He's a little bit different to the other midfield players I've got."

Clarke will trim two players from his squad when he names his final 26-man group on June 8 after friendlies against Gibraltar and Finland.

"I just wanted to give myself a little bit of breathing space to have a look at certain players, how they are, how their fitness is," he said, explaining why he named a provisional group of 28.

“One or two are still on a return-to-play, if you like, over the next 10 days plus the friendlies. It's just to buy a bit of time.“

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