Watch closely on Thursday and decide if Islam really is the future

Last updated : 27 October 2009 By Mikbhoy

Islam Feruz
Scotland under-16 call up
The Sky sponsored Victory Shield tournament between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland is the annual schoolboys tournament that the home nations have been contesting since the inaugural event in 1925 and fans of Celtic and Scotland will have an extra incentive to watch this year's occasion which is being televised live on Sky Sports.

Fourteen year-old Islam Feruz will revert to a squad nearer his own age for this game following his much publicised debut for Scotland Under-17's in a European Championship match against Cyprus last week.

Somalia-born 'Izzy' is the first foreign-born player to qualify for Scotland through Fifa's new ruling which states that a boy who has attended school in his adopted country for five years can play for them. The Feruz family came to Glasgow seven years ago seeking asylum and with the help of the late Tommy Burns were able to overcome the barriers that would have seen them returned to war-torn Somalia.

Many Celtic fans were aware of this youngster and aware of the high regard in which he was held by all of the coaching staff but they were still surprised by the then thirteen year-old's elevation into the Celtic Under-19 team for a few matches last season. His appearance at the Tommy Burns Tribute match back in May and his three games for Scotland Under-17's last week - one start and two as a substitute - have whetted the appetite and fans will be tuning into Sky Sports 1 this Thursday to check out Celtic's hottest prospect in years.

The young Scots have already won their first game in this year's Victory Cup, they beat Northern Ireland at the beginning of October, and a victory over Wales would give them hope of clinching the trophy against England next month. Head coach Ross Mathie was impressed by Feruz's performance on his international debut last week , the youngster set up Callum McGregor for the opening goal against Cyprus, but he's hoping that Izzy will use this game to show just why he's the most talked about fourteen year-old in the game.

"The hype is hopefully over now and that will allow Islam to settle down on the pitch." said the Scotland boss. "The game this week may see the best of him as things are bedded down and he is against players that are more of his age. The under-17 tournament saw him against bigger, stronger and very, very technically gifted players so the game in Wales may allow him to prosper."

Wales v Scotland (Sky Sports Victory Shield)

Sky Sports 1, Thursday 29th October 2009, 19.30 pm