IT won’t quite have the grandiosity of the Wimbledon queue but there will be a similar element of waiting in hope rather than expectation for Robbie Croll’s family this weekend.

The Edinburgh University student is set to make his Scotland home debut in three warm-up matches against Ireland – starting this evening – ahead of next month’s European Championships.

The cap on attendance has been set at only 50 on a “first come first serve” basis, meaning Croll’s mum and siblings may need to get there early if they are to see the 20 year-old represent his country on home soil for the first time.

“This is the first time we’ve had a bit of a crowd watching us which adds to the occasion – and maybe makes it a bit more nerve-wracking too,” he said.

“My mum and possibly also my brother and sister are all hoping to make it along on the Saturday to watch although I guess it depends if they can get in! They might need to get there pretty early just to make sure.

“It would be great if they could be there as it’s quite an exciting moment to play my first game for Scotland at home, even if they’re not full capped internationals.

“And with the Euros taking place next month it’s hopefully a chance to impress and push for a place in the squad for that one as I’d love to be involved. 

“It was great to make my Scotland debut earlier this year in Wales. It was a really positive experience overall with the guys who were all very welcoming.

“And having done that it makes this week a little bit easier as you know most of the other players now and you feel more a part of the set-up.”

Croll’s long-term career plan would ideally involve playing hockey professionally overseas for a year or two but first he must navigate his way safely through the final year of his Medicinal Chemistry degree.

After a Covid-interrupted 17 months, his hope is this term will see a gradual return to normality both on and off the pitch. 

“It’s been a bit weird over the past year as we’ve not been able to get into the lab to do any of that stuff as it’s all been taught online,” he explained

“And the uni ended up having no competitive hockey matches for all of last season as well which made it hard to maintain motivation levels at times.

“But things are looking a bit more positive now on both fronts. We’re hoping to get back to doing the lab work in person next year. And in terms of hockey it should be back to normal with matches all across the country again.”

Croll is an alumnus of Erskine Stewart’s Melville College where former classmates include Edinburgh rugby’s rising stars Jack Blain and Connor Boyle.

But despite growing up in the capital city, his football allegiances lie further to the north.

“Both my dad and granddad are from Dundee so that’s my team too,” he added. “I’ve been a fan of them since I was young and still try to get to games whenever I can. I think my dad just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t grow up supporting Hearts or Hibs! 

“It’s great to see Dundee back in the Premiership and hopefully they do well.”