Harvey St Clair has followed fellow Scotsman Liam Henderson in swapping British football for a fresh challenge in Italy.
The former Chelsea youngster was part of Scot Gemmill’s Under 21 team for the Toulon Tournament, which they finished fourth in after losing to England in the semi-finals and then going down to Turkey on penalties in the third place playoff.
St Clair had to settle for games off the bench in that tournament and will be hoping he can get more going forward given he’s still got a few more years left at that age level.
But how will a move to Venezia in Italy affect his chances of continuing his Scotland career? For St Clair, it’s the right move at the right time for him.
He spoke to scottishfa.co.uk and told how he’s been inspired by Henderson’s move to Bari in January, which has led to him being linked with a switch to Serie A already after impressing in the second half of the season.
Asked about Henderson being a good example, St Clair said: “Absolutely. I look up to Liam Henderson and what he’s done with Bari. He’s a great example for me as a young Scottish player who has stepped out of his comfort zone.
“He’s done really well for Bari and now been linked with other clubs. Maybe some young players are comfortable where they are and that’s fine but I think it’s good to challenge yourself the way he has.
“Hopefully our paths will cross and I can pick his brains. It would be good to get his take on a few things.”
St Clair also told how he got the backing of Gemmill and Malky Mackay after consulting them about the decision.
He added: “I had some really good chats with Malky Mackay and Scot Gemmill about my situation and I appreciated their advice.
“I talked them through the options that were open to me and they gave me their thoughts. I think it’s good to sound out two experienced football people like that – especially when I want to keep progressing through the Scotland set-up.
“They were positive about the idea of me stepping out of a comfort zone and trying a new environment. Hopefully this will help me stay in Scot’s plans because I want to build on my recent call-ups. Toulon was a fantastic experience and I thought we did well overall.”
St Clair will join up with Venezia next month and start his four-year contract with the club with the hope of playing first team football on a regular basis.
He leaves Chelsea without having played a first team game for the club he joined at the age of six.