I see that in for the World Cup qualifying draw which takes place on 25 July, Scotland are in Pot 3 along with Northern Ireland, Poland, Ukraine, Sweden, Hungary, Albania, Serbia and Greece. Scotland have never played Albania [I’m sure the missus would have loved a wee romantic trip to Tirana] and we have yet to play Hungary in a competitive match so I am a bit disappointed that a visit to Budapest has been ruled out as far as the 2018 World Cup is concerned. Whisper it – maybe the Euro play-offs?

In these days of [relatively] cheap travel, qualifying draws for the World Cup and the Euros brings the added excitement of discovering which countries/cities are on offer for a possible visit whilst on National Service.From Pot 4 I’m hoping for Turkey – a country Scotland have played but once – we lost a friendly match in Ankara 4-2 in June 1960. A visit to Istanbul would be nice – maybe.From Pot 5 I’d take Cyprus – Beautiful country, warm sunshine and a good chance of a sizable allocation of tickets.I’d rather not draw Azerbaijan although on the plus side it would be a ‘new’ opponent and a wee boost to the badge collection.

I’d also rather not draw Kazakhstan from Pot 6 – can we have the holiday island of Malta please? We should all be able to fit into their national stadium whereas I don’t think the same can be said about Andorra.

Everyone will have their own personal wish list of course and I’m well aware of the old adage regarding being careful about what you wish for but to continue – I would like Wales from Pot 1 for travel and revenge purposes and from Pot 2 I’d prefer Denmark, just to see if Copenhagen really is as wonderful as Hans Christian Andersen/Danny Kaye/Tommy Gemmell said it was and maybe visit the the original Legoland Amusement Park- at Billund not Rugby Park [sorry].


Anyway, going back to Budapest [which we’re not] our most recent match there was in 1980 when, under the stewardship of Jock Stein, we lost 1-3 with Spurs’ Stevie Archibald netting for the Scots. Our most recent encounter at Hampden was even worse though when in August 2004 [under the mis-management of Berti Vogts] we lost 0-3 to a Hungary side who were coached by Lothar Matthaus. David Marshall contributed an own-goal and Barry Ferguson skippered the side which included the likes of Quashie, McFadden and Miller. Sigh……………

Robert Marshall…..Pork……Village People…..

First posted on Facebook July 3rd, 2015