Alex Iacovitti hoping to follow in Oliver Burke's footsteps

Alex Iacovitti hoping to follow in Oliver Burke's footsteps

Scotland Under-21 newcomer Alex Iacovitti is taking inspiration from his former team-mate Oliver Burke's rapid rise.

The pair played together for Nottingham Forest and Scotland Under-19s and Iacovitti is determined to do so again on the international stage some day.

Winger Burke bypassed the under-21s to go straight into Gordon Strachan's squad and moved from Forest to RB Leipzig before starting in the opening World Cup qualifying win against Malta.

Iacovitti has earned promotion himself, being named in Scot Gemmill's first under-21 party after working his way through the age groups.

"Twister, or Oliver, was my room-mate with Forest and Scotland," said Iacovitti ahead of the double-header against Iceland and Macedonia.

"He's one of my really good pals. He's done really, really well with Scotland and Forest and he took his chances when he had to, and look at him now, he's flying.

"It hasn't surprised me. He has always been a great player, it was just a matter of time when people came in for him, but he has taken his chance really, really well.

"It's different positions but what he's done, it can happen to anybody. You just have to get a run of games.

"I speak to him on social media so we keep in touch. He came on and set up a goal and then his first start he scored, so he is flying."

Burke has impressed Strachan and others with his down-to-earth attitude and Iacovitti is from the same stock.

"That's part of my game as well, to work hard," the 19-year-old said. "He never misses a gym session and that's how it should be as well."

Iacovitti joined Burke in the Forest first team earlier this season but he also got a move, joining Mansfield on loan for the season.

"I started the first two games in the Championship with Forest but then they brought in a few senior players and the gaffer (Dougie Freedman) said he can't really afford for me just to sit on the bench and not really play, so it was the best thing for me to go out and get games," said the Nottingham-born defender, who qualifies for Scotland through his Scottish mother.

"It's a good experience as well, so I can hopefully go back to Forest and take it from there.

"It's different, it's a lot more direct. The experienced pros are helping me out so it's a great league to learn in. There's quite a few decent players in League Two as well but it's a bit more direct.

"If I can handle that, hopefully I can go back to Forest and knock on the door and take it from there."

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