Weir, Hartley recalled by Scotland

Rangers captain David Weir is set to become the oldest player to
turn out for Scotland after being recalled on Tuesday by manager
Craig Levein for the European Championship qualifiers against
Lithuania and Liechtenstein next month.

The 40-year-old Weir has not played for Scotland since a defeat
by the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier last September, but his
great club form has prompted Levein to come calling after leaving
the defender out of his first two squads.

”The thing about Davie is, he is still playing at the highest
level week in, week out,” Levein said. ”The fact he is still
turning in top-class performances means it was a pretty easy
decision to make for me.”

Weir will surpass former Manchester United goalkeeper Jim
Leighton as the oldest ever Scotland player if he features in
either the opening Group I qualifier against Lithuania in Kaunas on
Sept. 3 or the home match against Liechtenstein at Hampden Park
four days later. Leighton was 40 years, 2 months, 16 days when he
played against Estonia in 1998.

Levein also recalled Paul Hartley following the 33-year-old
midfielder’s superb start to the season, which saw him score a hat
trick on his debut for Aberdeen. He missed Scotland’s 3-0 defeat by
Sweden in a friendly earlier this month because he did not have a
club at the time.

”Experience was the key with him. We do not have a natural
holding midfield player but Paul’s experience in the position is
vital for me,” Levein said.

Steven Fletcher (foot), Kevin McNaughton (hamstring) and Alan
Hutton (groin) were included in the squad but will miss the match
against Lithuania. Scotland’s medical staff said they hoped the
players’ injuries will improve enough for them to be considered for
the second game of the double-header.

Blackpool’s Matt Gilks was called up for the first time and is
one of three goalkeepers in the 26-man squad.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: David Marshall (Cardiff), Allan McGregor (Rangers),
Matt Gilks (Blackpool).

Defenders: Alan Hutton (Tottenham), Christophe Berra (Wolves),
Kirk Broadfoot (Rangers), Stephen McManus (Middlesbrough), David
Weir (Rangers), Lee McCulloch (Rangers), Lee Wallace (Hearts), Andy
Webster (Rangers), Steven Whittaker (Rangers), Kevin McNaughton
(Cardiff).

Midfielders: Charlie Adam (Blackpool), Scott Brown (Celtic),
Graham Dorrans (West Brom), Darren Fletcher (Man Utd), James
Morrison (West Brom), Barry Robson (Middlesbrough), Paul Hartley,
(Aberdeen).

Forwards: Kris Boyd (Middlesbrough), Steven Fletcher (Wolves),
Chris Iwelumo (Burnley), James McFadden (Birmingham), Kenny Miller
(Rangers), Steven Naismith (Rangers).