Killie go Global

15 Nov

Now, before you go any further, I warn you that this post was written with blue tinted specs firmly on.

The Kilmarnock captain, and one-time Hearts target found himself getting a call up to Craig Levein’s squad for the friendly against the Faroes. Many Killie fans would say not before time. Not me however, I’d suggest this is right on time.

The 24 year-old midfielder has been surrounded by a lot of hype from the Rugby Park faithful in recent seasons, who believe that the tireless former Clyde man was head and shoulders above the rest of the team. Not that they were wrong, Brysons performances stood out consistently. Only because there were no other performances worthy of comment.

Craig Bryson has every right to be ecstatic, having earned a place in the Scotland squad.

Best of a bad bunch

Bryson was performing well in a team low on confidence, with players who were resting on their laurels and lacking any real passion.

Now, in a rejuvenated squad under the stewardship of Mixu Paatelainen, Bryson looks te times the player he was last season. He’s transforming into the player he has the potential to be. His energy and vision are superb, and playing beside 40-something-capped international Alexei Eremenko,  Bryson is a revelation. Every game, he seems to be improving and the phrase “Bryson’s best game in a Killie shirt….”  is being thrown about week after week.

Captain Fantastic

An unlikely choice of captain at the start of the season, in a squad with the fantastically passionate and vocal Manuel Pascali and SPL veterans such as James Fowler and Garry Hay. Though Bryson has not disappointed, his leadership, determination and influence are clear for all to see. He’s spend a lot of time working on the physical side of his game, and is fast turning into a very well-rounded midfielder.

Eremenko: The perfect foil for Bryson

Looking at the player he was as recently as 6 months ago the improvement is fantastic. He’s went from an above average SPL midfielder, to an international quality SPL captain. Craig Levein has an eye for a player (at club level at least), and his selection is evidence that the former under 21 player is ready to make the step up, at long last.

‘Keeper called up

Another player who is making his mark on the Scotland scene is Killie’s young ‘keeper, Cammy Bell. A fantastic shot-stopper (very much in the mould of his team-mate Alan Combe) with superb command of his area, Bell has never looked out-of-place in the SPL.

Many were skeptical when Jim Jefferies kept farming Bell out to the 1st and 2nd division on loan, whilst still rewarding him with contract after contract. However when Bell broke into the first team last season, it was clear to see why. 24 years old and with plenty of first team experience with Queen of the South (and a UEFA cup match) under his belt, Bell showed some real class and potential with his performances. Similarly to Bryson, Bell is far from the finished article. His composure and aerial ability still need a bit of work. Though Kilmarnock have a history of  producing great ‘keepers; Allan McCulloch, Bobby Ferguson (who was the world’s most expensive goalkeeper) and Jim Stewart. If Cammy Bell can be half as good as any of these Rugby Park legends, then he’ll be a damn fine goalkeeper.

Of course it is only a friendly, and the team is ravaged with injury. And yes, this is the only reason these players have  a sniff of being in the Scotland first team.Though, everyone needs to get a foot in the door somewhere, eh?

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