Aberdeen winger Ryan Fraser excused from Scotland U-19 duty

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Fraser is challenged by St Johnstone defender Dave Mackay during the Dons' 2-1 win
Fraser is challenged by St Johnstone defender Dave Mackay during the Dons' 2-1 win

Aberdeen winger Ryan Fraser has been released from Scotland Under-19 duty after club manager Craig Brown's plea to his former employers.

The 18-year-old was wanted by the Scottish FA at the same time as the Dons face two games this week.

Brown said after the 2-1 win over St Johnstone that he would be asking for a favour from the youth team boss.

"I am grateful to Ricky Sbragia," the Dons manager told BBC Scotland after he received a positive response.

Aberdeen travel to Greenock on Wednesday to take on Morton in the Scottish Communities League Cup, the day before the national Under-19s face their Norwegian counterparts in Vinstra.

The young Scots play a second friendly against the same opponents two days later, 24 hours before Aberdeen host Hearts in the Scottish Premier League.

Fraser was again influential as Aberdeen won at McDiarmid Park - a result that Brown thought flattered the home side.

"I want players to go with the national team where possible and they've requested Ryan," said the manager before approaching the SFA.

"But I'll need to check the provision they've got with other players because he is certainly a key man in our team now."

"He is a very talented winger."

However, Brown pinpointed an improved depth of squad for his side's promising start to the season and admits that Fraser might not be pushed into service in every match this season.

"I don't think he'll play every game," said the Dons manager. "That's asking far too much of him.

"You see, Jonny Hayes is much more experienced and they are very similar.

"What they do is, they go past a full-back and deliver balls into the box."

Mark Reynolds, who has returned on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, was again on the bench along with Chris Clark, Rob Milsom, Mitch Megginson and Josh Magennis, all of whom have been in the starting line-up previously.

"We have four key players in this side and they're hugely influential," added Brown.

"When I look for a player, I look for character as well as ability and you don't get better than Russell Anderson, Gary Naysmith, Gavin Rae and Stephen Hughes.

"You see the influence they have on this football team and the other young lads around them respond to their promptings.

"We have a bench full of quality players - Reynolds, Clark, Milsom, Maggennis, Meginson.

"It is as good a bench as there will be around, so that tells you the quality of the squad we've got."