JAMES McPAKE has expressed his delight at Chris Mochrie receiving international recognition and says the club will “enjoy him for the time we’ve got him”.

The on-loan Dundee United midfielder was named in Scot Gemmill’s Scotland under-21 squad that will play a friendly double-header with Northern Ireland over the next week.

The 19-year-old, who has been capped at under-16, under-17 and under-19 level, will be with the pool that will contest the fixtures being played at Belfast’s Danny Blanchflower Stadium on Thursday (September 22), and at St Mirren’s SMiSA Stadium three days later.

Last season, goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk, during his loan spell with Athletic from Leicester City, was called into Poland’s under-21 squad, while current Pars forward Lewis McCann has been capped at that age group for Northern Ireland.

McPake, who himself was capped at senior level by Northern Ireland, told Press Sport: “I’m delighted for Chris.

“He has made one under-21 squad before but he got injured and couldn’t participate in the game, so we’re delighted for him that he’s in that squad.

“He would’ve missed the Celtic B game anyway (the SPFL Trust Trophy tie which had been due to be played next weekend, but has been rescheduled) because he had played for Dundee United in the cup but, regardless, even if he could play in the Celtic B game, I’d be delighted for any of my players to be getting international recognition.

“It’s great for Chris and hopefully he goes and he gets game time, if that’s what Scot Gemmill (Scotland under-21s head coach) wants to do.

“He’s got our full support, as he’ll have Dundee United’s full support as well.

“He’s a good player, he’s a good person, and we’re delighted to have him.”

Since signing a season-long loan deal last month, Mochrie has played five times for the Pars, three of which have come from the bench, including his debut, in which he scored during a 3-0 win at FC Edinburgh.

When asked if winning under-21 caps could benefit both the player and the club, with Mochrie returning to KDM Group East End Park with an even greater sense of confidence, McPake replied: “Hopefully, he does get game time, but I think just going away in that group is good for him personally. It’s a great boost for a player’s confidence to go and get whatever international team experience, whether it’s the senior squad, the under-21s or the under-19s, that I think he’s been a part of.

"It’s great for him but I don’t know in terms of us as a group, or us as a team, if he comes back any more confident or not, because he has been absolutely excellent since he came in the door.

“If that helps him, great, but we’re working with him every day and Dundee United are keeping a close eye on him as well.

“That’s where his future will be when he goes back so I think we’ll just enjoy him for the time we’ve got him.”

In recent years, Ryan Williamson, who could be set to return to KDM Group East End Park with Dunfermline’s bitter rivals Falkirk this weekend, and former loan players such as Lewis Mayo and Scott Banks, have represented Scotland at under-21 level while with the Pars.

In a squad that contains 11 first-time call-ups, Heart of Midlothian midfielder Connor Smith – who hails from Cowdenbeath and whose brother, Callum, is a former Dunfermline player and currently plays for Airdrieonians – is one of only five players in the squad who were part of the group that ended Scotland’s previous qualifying campaign.

Gemmill added: “It’s a really exciting time and a big responsibility to work with largely a new group of players and give them that opportunity to maximise their potential.”

Meanwhile next Saturday's SPFL Trust Trophy third round tie with Celtic B - which McPake said Mochrie would have missed regardless of his international selection, having played for Dundee United in a previous round - has been postponed.

The game has been moved to Tuesday, November 15, because of international call-ups.

Additionally, the league match at Clyde, which was called off last weekend, has been rescheduled for Tuesday October 18.