GREENOCK footballer Adam Frizzell hopes his experience for Scotland Under-20s this week can help him realise his dream of playing the game at the highest level.

Frizzell, who plays for Kilmarnock, came on as a substitute after 10 minutes in Scotland’s 3-2 defeat to the Czech Republic on Wednesday in Scot Gemmill’s side’s opening game of the prestigious Toulon Tournament at the Stade d’Honneur.

The Scottish youngsters take on Brazil tomorrow and know a win is required to have a realistic chance of advancing from Group C to the semi-finals.

The 19-year-old has high hopes of following in the footsteps of some of the game’s biggest names — including Alan Shearer, Manuel Rui Costa, Thierry Henry, Djibril Cisse and Javier Mascherano — to use the tournament as experience that will stand him in good stead.

He exclusively told the Tele: “I want to play at the highest level so in terms of bringing my game on this is the best I can hope for. I want to play football throughout my career at the highest level possible. I’ve played right through the Scotland set-up under Scot Gemmill. This tournament is quite prestigious and the intensity is definitely raised from the younger ages. 

“It’s a lot more like first team international because it’s only one step away, so it’s a good experience to be involved in.

“The training has been intense and the heat has as well. They’re not wanting to train us as hard given the heat but we need to get used to it. 

“It’s a different ball game playing in 30 degree heat.

“I got a wee run of games at the end of the season so it’s a bit of a surprise in a way that I’ve been called up. But I’m looking forward to gaining some good experience against the likes of Brazil. 

“You don’t know if you’ll get that chance again. If you look at the players who have played this tournament before, there are massive names there and there’s going to be another one or two that I’ll play against here. 

“But these are the players you want to play against.”

Frizzell made 17 appearances in Killie’s first team last season under caretaker boss Lee McCulloch and the midfielder would be delighted to see the former Rangers man land the job on a permanent basis. And he’s pleased that fellow local lad and Kilmarnock team-mate Greg Taylor is in France with him, because it makes it easier to bed in with the national set-up. 

He said: “I’ve been in and out of the team at Kilmarnock this season and now I need to look at next. I want to make myself a regular, and while it’s hard to get consistent games as a young player, I want to show that I can do that and that I’m capable.

“It’s definitely a positive for me because since the start Jig [McCulloch] has got me involved and given me the confidence I need to bring my game on. So it’s a positive for me if he’s taken the job full-time.

“Back with Toulon, Greg Taylor is here too so it’s nice to have a familiar face here with me. 

“We know how each other plays so it’s good to have him with me. That helps you bed in, coming away you want a few familiar faces.”

Frizzell insists he owes a lot to his parents for helping him make it in professional football from an early age. And he still remembers — and keeps in contact with — some of his former coaches at Inverclyde First Touch where he honed his skills as a kid.

He added: “I owe a lot to my mum and dad because they’ve taken me up and down the country since I’ve been 10. It’s good to be able to give them something back. I’ve not done anything yet though, I need to try and play for my country at first team level but this is a platform for me to try to.

“I played for First Touch when I was young, then I went to Rangers when I was 10. But ever since I could kick a ball I was at First Touch. My brother [Alan, 22] is a few years older than me as well but we both came through there. I still keep in touch with a few of the coaches as well.

“It’s a bonus for the coaches there as well because it shows that they were doing the right things, teaching me the right things from a young age.”