Billy Dodds has expressed surprise that Reece McAlear has not been included in Scotland’s Under-21 squad following the midfielder’s crush on Caley Thistle against Dunfermline.
The 20-year-old Norwich City man opened the scoring in what would ultimately be a 2-0 win over Pars in spectacular fashion, picking the top corner with a little help from the woodwork for the first time in the corner of the box.
McAlear has previously been involved in Scottish age group squads, representing his country at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 levels, but was not included in the squad. Scot Gemmill for the current round of international matches.
After his impressive display for the Caley Jags, head coach Dodds backed the youngster to make an impact in the next age group, saying he was in no doubt about his ability.
“I’m really mad because I can’t believe the boy didn’t sniff the Under 21s,” Dodds pointed out.
“I’m not here to do Scot Gemmell’s job, but I’m telling you, the lad has been in the team and scored some amazing goals. He’s been a regular every week and he’s not even in the team.
“I am amazed by this. I don’t know why he’s not on the team. I don’t know if the homework has been done.
“I just think he’s a high-quality, smart player. He’s only 20 and he can’t come close to this team, as he regularly plays first-team football and scores goals incredible.
“He played for Motherwell and gets a big transfer to Norwich who paid big money for him. He should be in the team, from what I see this week and knowing what he could bring, I’m amazed.”
McAlear found he was in and out of the starting XI at the start of the season, but with injuries to Roddy MacGregor and Scott Allardice he was given the opportunity to become a mainstay in the team – and that chance is the one he grabbed with both hands, growing week by week in the middle of the park.
“He’s in the gym all the time,” Dodds added.
“Kirk Broadfoot takes him under his wing. Broaders is religious when it comes to the gym and a lot of young boys are following suit.
“(McAlear is) a pretty light-hearted, but strong boy. I’m just disgusted for him, he’s not in the U21 team.