Stephen Kingsley delighted with first senior Scotland call-up

The Swansea defender has been rewarded for a great end to the season by being included in the squad to face Italy and France.

Stephen Kingsley delighted with first senior Scotland call-up
Could Kingsley make his senior Scotland debut next month? (Photo: Scottish FA)

Stephen Kingsley is absolutely delighted with his first senior Scotland call-up for the team's upcoming friendlies, with him saying a potential debut would really cap off a fantastic season.

The young defender is in the squad to face Italy and France next month, a reward for an excellent second half of the campaign with Swansea City.

After spending the first six months of the year on loan at Crewe Alexandra in League One, Kingsley returned to South Wales and impressed new manager Francesco Guidolin enough to earn a chance in Swans' first team.

Now his terrific year could have the perfect conclusion, with him having been brought up from Scotland's under-21s to their seniors, and a debut a high possibility.

Kingsley hoping Premier League pedigree helps

Speaking to the Scottish FA's website, Kingsley spoke of how surreal this whole season has been - with him going from League One to a Scotland call-up in less than 12 months.

"It's been an amazing few months for me personally," he said, "so to make my debut for Scotland would really top it off.

"The first six months of the season were pretty difficult," Kingsley continued, with him looking to make an impact for strugglers Crewe, who were eventually relegated to League Two with time to spare this year.

However, he believes that the loan spell was "really good" for him though as it gave him "more game-time and match fitness."

"By the turn of the year, things started kicking in," he recalls. Swansea's form improved after the January appointment of Guidolin and, as they say, a new manager means a clean slate for all - including Kingsley.

"I worked as hard as I could to impress [Guidolin] in training," the defender said, and it worked, with him going on to make a handful of first team appearances as a result.

After helping the Swans keep a clean sheet against Crystal Palace at the end of December, Kingsley was then part of the side that downed Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates to spark a run of form that helped them massively in surviving the drop.

Now, he's hoping that his experience against the best in England will help him deal with the best that Italy and France.

"To be part of the Scotland squad is brilliant, but the fact that the games are against two of the best teams in the world adds a bit extra," he said.

"The games I’ve played in the Premier League have been against very good opposition," he continued, adding that this means he'll hopefully "be ready" to make his mark if called upon.

Kingsley is hopeful that his experience in the Premier League will help him deal with some of the world's best. (Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Kingsley is hopeful that his experience in the Premier League will help him deal with some of the world's best. (Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Scotland experience adding to the season gone

Even if Kingsley doesn't make his debut in the upcoming games, joining up with the seniors has been a rewarding experience in itself.

The defender has been enjoying it so far, saying that "as a young player, it is great to know that [Gordon Strachan, manager] is willing to give you a chance."

Kingsley continued, adding: "It's really encouraging to know that if you work hard, and if you show what you can do with your club, then the opportunities are there within the international set-up."

Now, he is just "looking forward" to what is to come, and a potential debut.