John Fleck has told Steve Clarke he will save the date for his Scotland debut later this year after being forced to turn down next month’s call-up because of his wedding.
Clarke had hoped to include the Sheffield United midfielder in his first squad selection since being named Alex McLeish’s successor.
But the former Rangers ace had to say no to the proposal ahead of the crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers with Cyprus and Belgium as he is due to tie the knot with partner Lauren on Saturday before jetting off on honeymoon.
The 27-year-old was so far out of the international picture when he got down on one knee two years ago that he thought nothing of booking the big day at the Trump Turnberry Hotel just a week after the end of the season.
Thankfully for the Premier League-bound ace, Clarke fully understood his predicament and Fleck has promised only injury will stop him from reporting for duty if required when Scotland host Russia and Belgium in the next round of qualifiers in September.
Fleck told Press Association Sport: “I’m gutted to be missing out on the chance to play for my country but there was nothing I could do about the timing.
“My fiancee and I have been planning this wedding for two years and it’s just rotten luck than it falls on the same date at these games next week.
“There was no chance I could have postponed the wedding - Lauren would have killed me.
“But I’ve spoken to Steve Clarke and made it clear I’m still desperate to play for Scotland and if I’m fit, I’ll be available for selection when the next round of games come along in September.
“We had a good chat on the phone and it was great to hear what he has in mind for the national team. Giving him the job was an excellent appointment and hopefully he can now get everyone pulling in the same direction for Scotland.
“I was delighted that he had me in his plans and I can’t wait to play my part later on down the line.”
Fleck has fired himself into Clarke’s thinking after playing a vital role for the Blades during their successful promotion push.
He will now take his place alongside some of the biggest names in world football next year having helped United finish second in the Sky Bet Championship.
As a highly-rated teenager, big things were predicted for Fleck after he broke into Walter Smith’s Rangers team over a decade ago.
But things did not run as smoothly as he would have hoped and it is only now that the former Coventry playmaker is getting international recognition.
He was called up for the first time by Scotland last November ahead of the Nations League clash with Israel but was not capped by McLeish.
However, Fleck insists pulling on a dark blue jersey remains a goal he is desperate to tick off.
He said: “I’ve had a great year with Sheffield United in the Championship and it’s really exciting to be thinking in a few weeks I’ll be playing in the Premier League.
“It’s always been an ambition of mine to get to this level and it’s been a long road getting here.
“Hopefully I can cap off what I’ve achieved over the last 12 months by adding a Scotland cap to my collection once I’m back from honeymoon.”