STEPHEN YOUNG is itching to help Scotland qualify for the World Cup when the beautiful game returns.

The 23-year-old, from Dunfermline, is counting down the days until he can lace up his boots for the nation's cerebral palsy side once again.

Stephen and his team-mates were set to fly to Spain in June to compete in a World Cup qualification tournament but the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in its suspension until further notice.

It is hoped that it could be rescheduled for October, and Stephen told the Press that it can't come soon enough.

"Representing Scotland is a childhood dream," he said.

"I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure it's real and I'm not dreaming.

"Our goal for Spain is to qualify for the World Cup – you don't go to tournaments to just take part.

"We've all worked extremely hard to be able to go so hopefully we can get back to playing soon as I've got all the time in the world for the players and staff.

"It's a great group and I am missing being a part of that group in training and all the banter between us."

Each member of the Scotland squad had to fundraise themselves to pay for travel and accommodation during their two-week stay in Spain for the IFCPF Nations Championship.

Stephen received a generous £1,000 donation recently from junior side Rosyth, who he also plays for, so he could make the trip back to Spain.

It was in Barcelona last summer where Scotland were crowned champions of the CP Football International Trophy.

They emerged unbeaten through their four matches with Stephen scoring throughout the campaign.

He would give anything to help send Scotland to the World Cup in 2022 but he laughed that playing FIFA with his pals is the closest he's getting to the real thing right now.

"You don't realise how much football is a big part of your life until it's taken away from you," he said. "I think people can take it for granted.

"It doesn't matter if you win, lose or draw. Football is all about the ups and downs and I think everyone is missing that right now.

"You have no choice but to spend time with your mates online and the patter just repeats itself over and over again.

"'What you up to today mate? Stuck indoors are you? Aye, same here. What you doing tomorrow? Indoors again? Aye, me too.'

"I can't wait until football is back."

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