When David Marshall stuck out his palm to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic's spot-kick, he ended Scotland's 23-year exile from a major tournament.

More than two decades of us Scots being the poor relations, standing on the outside looking in as the big boys duked it out. The relief, joy and delirium were all plain to see - just ask Ryan Christie.

Players danced a hearty jig around their table during post-match celebrations and the nation boogied. Had the option been there, it's possible there could have been an open top bus upon their arrival back in the country just for qualifying.

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Fast-forward just a few short months and there was more delight for one Scot in particular who had helped his club to a similar feat after a lengthy wait, mirroring international exploits. Harvey St Clair, a former under-21s striker for the Dark Blues, helped Serie B outfit Venezia end their own 19 years of hurt by gaining promotion to Italy's premier competition.

But it wasn't an open top bus he and his teammates celebrated on. In typical Venetian fashion, the players and staff - after beating Citadella 2-1 in the play-offs - sailed majestically down the canal in a gondola. Supporters with flags and flares flanked the players on the pavements and the similarities were not lost on St Clair.

"I think Scotland were due to be playing at a tournament, it's been difficult over the years but it shows anything can happen in football," he told Herald and Times Sport. "We belong there now, the Euros is a competition we want to play in every time.

"I was buzzing when David Marshall saved the penalty. It's really good they're in the Euros and I'm so happy for the players, for the country it's really great. It's a massive competition, you want to play against the best and everyone will be buzzing over it.

"Similarly with Venice, it's massive for the city, the club, the whole place is really happy and it's going to bring a lot of joy to the fans being able to travel to some of the best teams in the world, Juventus, AC Milan, it'll be massive for the players and everyone associated with the club."

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On the celebration scenes, St Clair said: "For me being a foreigner there it was so, so crazy. Everything. All the boats, the gondolas, all the speed boats with the flags. For the team to go up to Serie A after 19 years of being in the lower leagues, to finally be in the top league in the country, maybe one of the top leagues in the world, it was an amazing experience and one I won't ever forget.

"The new owners gave me an opportunity to stay [at the start of the season] and try to prove myself and help the team as much as I could and we started playing, from the start, very well. You could see we had a good group of players and I thought at the time that we might be able to do something special. We dominated teams and it was a crazy season towards the end.

"It was quite surreal to be honest but an incredible end to a good season. You have a lot of games in such a short amount of time and it's difficult to go up through the play-offs. We had so many games against some good teams so to recover and keep going, have some VAR decisions go against us, it was incredible really, very dramatic."

St Clair was already living the dream but his side's achievement definitely accentuated things. During our chat he quietly chuckles when the names of potential opponents come up. As if he hadn't allowed himself the opportunity to consider who he could face off against until now.

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"I think growing up in the UK you watched Manchester Utd and Cristiano Ronaldo," he said. "You grow up watching him terrorise players in the Premier League. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is another. There are a lot of great teams, great players and great stadiums with lots of history. Ronaldo if he stays there, it'd be amazing to see him playing and a dream come true to play against him."

Another possible adversary is former Hearts defender Aaron Hickey who also represents Scotland for Bologna in Serie A. St Clair has never crossed paths with the left-back but he does know all about him.

In fact, he was chuffed to see the 18-year-old step out of his comfort zone and leave the SPFL for a more challenging environment. Another man to do the same is ex-Celtic midfielder Liam Henderson, a good pal of St Clair's.

"It's definitely good that Aaron has stepped out of Scotland and gone abroad, it's such a big decision," he added. "It's very difficult to do that so props to him, he's doing well and he's playing. I'm sure he's enjoying it and I'm really happy for him to be playing in Serie A. Hopefully I can do the same. It shows some character and personality to go a difficult route and go into the unknown. For any player going out of their home, what they know, is a big positive and it'll only make the player grow on and off the pitch.

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"I know Hendo quite well from Scotland under-21s and playing against him in Serie B. I spoke to him after the Lecce game but unfortunately for him they didn't win. He said he really likes our team and wanted us to do well and go up because he has experienced that. He's really supportive so I'm happy for that.

"He's played a few times in Serie A before with Verona so he'll be able to give me some advice on what to expect."

St Clair has grown as a player since his time as a loanee at Kilmarnock. Perhaps not the easiest spell of his career, but it did remind Scotland under-21s boss Scot Gemmill that he had a talented youngster in his ranks.

The forward, now 22, earned a few caps at youth level but would love to do so for the senior side. But he is level-headed enough to know he has to play more often and make more of an impact for Venezia in the big-time before he's given the chance.

Still, the desire is there. He just hopes he can do so in a World Cup or European Championship in a shorter time span than 23 years from now.

Glasgow Times: Aaron Hickey stars in Serie AAaron Hickey stars in Serie A

"Playing for Scotland under-21s was a really proud time for me and for my mum," he beamed. "I played with the very best young players in Scotland, being on an international stage is a different type of football. It's been positive and I really enjoyed playing with them, being away with them and I've had some really good experiences.

"It would be a dream to play for the A-team but I've really got to establish myself in club football. I have to walk before I can run but it's definitely something I visualise, maybe one day. If I can do well, these types of things might occur and maybe I'll get a call-up one day. Playing in Serie A can't do me any harm, if I do play, that'll be a positive thing."