As the country tries to come to terms with the coronavirus crisis, Scotland’s football players are not immune to the anxiety and uncertainty.
Take, for example, Dundee United’s bright rising star Louis Appere.
The front man, who turns 21 on March 26, appeared to have the key to the door that would lead to a likely title-winning party with the Tangerines and his first experience of international football.
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A terrific season thus far for his club had been rewarded with a call-up to the Scotland U/21 squad for the scheduled Uefa European U/21 Championship qualifying matches against Croatia at Tynecastle the day after his big birthday and the trip to Greece on the 31st.
However, the suspension of the domestic season, which was announced last Friday, is set to be followed by confirmation this week that no international football will be played by the Scots at any level for the foreseeable future.
What should have been the most exciting stage of a fledgling career has been put on ice – that’s the best-case scenario – by Covid-19.
You only have to read his words, spoken before the suspension was put in place, to see how the wind will have been taken out of his sails.
Appere had said: “I was over the moon when I saw the announcement and I was in the squad.
“I am really happy to be involved and, for any footballer, there are not many prouder achievements than representing your country.
“I have been getting a lot of support from the guys at United and I am looking forward to the games.
“When I came in at the start of the season I maybe didn’t think of it being a realistic goal but I have worked hard.
“I went out on loan last year (to Broughty Athletic), came back and did everything I could to get into the United team and it’s paid off.
“I had been taking the talk as a bit of a compliment but stayed focused on what I was doing.
“More so after the Inverness game, people really started talking about it.
“My thinking was that, ultimately, if I kept playing well it might come but, if I didn’t, it wasn’t going to.
“It has all worked out for me.”
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In the same boat as Appere will be his United team-mate Lawrence Shankland, who had hoped to be part of the senior Scots set-up ahead of what was supposed to be a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel at Hampden.
That match, scheduled for the 26th, will not go ahead, although official confirmation of that call-off is still awaited.
Shankland scored his first international goal for Scotland in his second game, netting against San Marino in October (see video below).
The various European football associations, including the SFA, are scheduled to hold discussions tomorrow, with the cancellation of Euro 2020 now looking inevitable in order to try to leave space for a summer conclusion to the domestic seasons.
Appere had been chatting with Shankland about what to expect as regards international football, saying: “Shanks has told me a little bit about his time with Scotland and all the lads are excited for me.”
That excitement has been replaced by worry and concern.
The hope is that it, eventually, works out for Appere and his United team-mates but the coronavirus has left everyone in the game wondering what will happen next.
The Tangerines should have been playing Morton at Cappielow last Saturday but now have no idea when their remaining eight league fixtures will take place.
They have been left sitting with a 14-point advantage at the top of the Championship table but, like the rest of the nation, they are now facing a formidable opponent that has stopped them in their tracks.