Last updated : 03 June 2004 By Editor
From the Evening News:

New Scotland skipper Darren Fletcher is determined not to suffer the heartache of Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs.

The 20-year-old, who led his country for the first time in last week's 1-0 friendly win in Estonia, says he only has to take a look across the Reds' dressing-room to see how tough it is not to realise your dreams on the international stage.

“It hurts Giggsy and I'm desperate for it not to happen to me. He has so much ability, so many medals, and for someone like him never to have graced the European or world stage is a crying shame. The Scotland lads are determined because all you dream about is playing in the World Cup.

“I remember watching the World Cup in France and seeing Scotland perform so well in the opening game against Brazil. We haven't been to a major championship since then, and we have to fix that as soon as possible.

“When I go home to Mayfield I'm just Darren, not a Manchester United player, but the young boy people have known for so many years.

“I still walk down the road every morning. I'm home to get the milk, rolls and papers with my little sister, and no-one asks for autographs.

“I don't think being captain of Scotland will change things and I'm sure the people back home will be very proud. Even the lads I went to school with, who had great football ability but unfortunately didn't make it, show no jealousy whatsoever.

"Every time I come home in the summer I head to the local park with my mates and kick a ball about.

"I've done it for the last four summers because we were told at youth team level to play five-a-side football with our mates to keep in shape.”