We've recently updated our service. Because of this, you'll need to reset your password to log in. It's quick and easy!Reset Password

Scotland’s Euro 2024 stars: a career of two halves

Let's look at the jobs Scotland players did before their football careers kicked off.

Step up and score your dream career

The journey into professional football seems straightforward. A promising young player gets spotted by a scout and from there, it’s a direct path to the first team and international glory. 

But sometimes, footballers start playing the game part-time and have another job on the side. This means some of the famous players you watch on TV actually have a wider range of skills than you’d think. 

Each Scotland player has a unique career journey, just like you will. For example, Andy Robertson and Lyndon Dykes took completely different routes to the top, both learning lots of skills along the way. So, if you think there’s only one way to reach your dream career destination, think again!

Lawrence Shankland

A career of two halves/Lawrence Shankland

Lawrence Shankland certainly has amazing shooting skills. But that’s not where his talent ends, he also built valuable skills outside of football. Did you know, Shankland actually started out as a tool setter?  

Alongside his job with a local plumbing supplies company, Shankland played for amateur club Queen’s Park. It wasn’t until 2013 that Shankland got into full-time football with Aberdeen. And he’s since played in leagues across Scotland and Belgium!  

Shankland eventually turned his hobby into a top career while supporting himself with another job, which was still useful work experience for him. Could you do the same? 

Andy Robertson

A career of two halves/Andy Robertson

Andy Robertson’s football career needs no introduction. The defender is one of the best players in the United Kingdom and will be vital for Scotland at Euro 2024. But sometimes we forget that Robertson wasn’t always an elite level footballer. 

As a teenager, he was released by Celtic for being ‘too small’. This was a big setback for Robertson, so he spent a year playing for amateur side Queen’s Park. Like Shankland, Robertson found a job to support himself – working on the checkouts at Marks & Spencer. 

He continued to rebuild his football career, training with Queen’s Park two nights per week and playing for them on a Saturday. In 2013, Robertson got back into full-time football with Dundee United and his football journey has gone from strength to strength. 

Scotland's captain suffered a blow early in his career, like lots of us do! But he didn't let it define him. Instead, Robertson stepped back to a smaller club which helped him take a huge step forward. Meanwhile, he gained new, transferrable skills at his job on the checkouts.

Lyndon Dykes

A career of two halves/Lyndon Dykes

The Tartan Army often sing “Lyndon Dykes is the best on earth”. But eight years ago, he was standing at a career crossroads. 

Growing up in Australia, Dykes excelled at football and played at a senior level when he was aged just 15. He played briefly in Scotland with Queen of the South’s youth team and did well. But Dykes chose to return to Australia, where he worked in a sportswear factory and played for a string of small part-time clubs. Dykes was 20 and unsure what he wanted to do for a living – sound familiar? 

In the end, Dykes decided to see how far his football skills would take him in life. He accepted an offer to return to Queen of the South’s first team and hasn’t looked back since. The striker is living proof that you sometimes need to try a few different jobs before you find that career you’ll love. 

And the Queens Park Rangers star is STILL developing new skills, which will perhaps help him once his football career ends. Dykes’ recent injury means he’ll miss Euro 2024 but you may have seen him on TV working as a football pundit during Scotland’s warm-up matches.