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Boss offers hope to dropped youngster Gary Kenneth...

Scotland manager Craig Levein is happy with the return of experienced pair Paul Hartley and David Weir to the national team.

The 33-year-old midfielder was left out during the recent international friendly against Sweden, and the ex-Dundee United boss maintained that the player was not given a call-up only because he was unattached at the time.

Now, however, as the player has signed with Aberdeen, he has been given the nod to be a part of the squad for the first two games in the European Championship qualification stage.

"As I said before, the only reason Paul was not in the squad against Sweden was that he did not find a club," Levein told the official website of the Scottish FA.

"Experience was the key with him. We do not have a natural holding midfield player but Paul's experience in the position is vital for me."

The gaffer has also called-up veteran Rangers defender David Weir, who is likely to be one of the oldest players in the qualification at the ripe age of 40.

"The thing about Davie is he is still playing at the highest level week in, week out," he said.

"The fact he is still turning in top-class performances means it was a pretty easy decision to make for me. I had a good chat with him and I told him I was not just bringing him along for the ride.

"I had a look at a few people in the last couple of games but we are playing for real now.

"My job is to pick the best players for each position and if you look around, Davie is probably as good as anyone."

Weir's inclusion has come at the expense of relatively young defender Garry Kenneth, whose performance against Sweden was largely seen as the cause behind the loss.

Levein said: "Garry will have his day and if he keeps improving then he will come back in.

"It is dog-eat-dog and all I can do is give people an opportunity. It is then up to them to take it."

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