Scott Arfield says he is relishing the experience to play international football after earning his first call-up for Canada.
Arfield, who qualifies through his Toronto-born father, represented Scotland at youth level but has opted to play for Benito Floro’s side.
And the 27-year-old midfielder is pleased that his desire to be an international has finally been realised ahead of a FIFA World Cup qualifying double header against Mexico.
He said: “It’s been a long time coming and the news came out last night through you guys but it was a decision I made about a year ago.
“My father was born in Toronto so all through my Scotland U19, U21 and B team it was always in the back of my mind that it was a choice I could have opted for.
“As my career progressed, you play club football for so long you want to be an international footballer and I thought for my career it would be best suited for Canada.
“The qualifying is slightly different to Europe. You need to go through this group and into another six teams so the first stage is to get through this phase.
“We play Mexico on Friday in Vancouver then we fly over to play in the Azteca on Tuesday night so it’s a good opening and hopefully I can be involved.”
More than 46,000 tickets have been sold for the first fixture at the BC Place Stadium on March, 25, which will be the largest crowd to watch a World Cup qualifier in Canada.
That comes ahead of the return clash at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on March 29.
And Arfield will link up with former Clarets defender David Edgar in the squad, someone who he admits was key in his decision.
“He’s been very instrumental in it to be fair as he was the link between the manager and myself.
“He’s Canadian through and through so he’s very passionate and patriotic and I hope it’ll be a great experience for me.
“It’s not just football, it’s life experience. You can see things and go places you’re never going to go so I’m hoping it will be a very positive step in my career.”