Craig Sibbald signs three year deal with Falkirk

Photo: John Devlin. Craig Sibbald will stay with Falkirk until 2017
Photo: John Devlin. Craig Sibbald will stay with Falkirk until 2017

Falkirk have moved to secure Craig Sibbald’s future with the club as the teenager penned a new three-year deal this week.

However, it has also emerged the Bairn could be lost to Scotland who have frequently overlooked the midfielder for under-19 squads.

The Falkirk Herald understands Sibbald would be eligible for Republic of Ireland and England through relatives on the maternal side of his family.

Scotland infamously missed out on Everton midfielder James McCarthy who opted for Ireland after being overlooked by the national side, and Bairns technical director Alex Smith was shocked to find Sibbald is at risk of being poached from future Scotland selection.

He told The Falkirk Herald: “We bang the drum about our young players and believe they should be recognised – but it’s not up to me and far be it for me to tell someone else their job.

“However I did alert the Scottish Football Association about Jay Fulton and his eligibility for England - he was born in Bolton when his father was playing there.

“I didn’t realise young Craig was also in a similar position but I might have to alert them again.

“We want our best players to play for Falkirk primarily and then internationally, but Sibbald’s not the only one capable of playing at that sort of level - Falkirk supporters won’t need that pointed out to them.

“There’s Conor McGrandles, who we believe is an excellent prospect for us and for Scotland too.

“We have scouts and officials at many of our games and Kieran Duffie has been involved in the under-21s.

“Jay Fulton, of course, was called up and is now playing in the first-team in the Premiership with Swansea. Stephen Kingsley has been capped too.

“All these boys progressed though our Academy system and have been given the chance to play and experience in the first-team at Falkirk - it certainly helps .”

McGrandles was included in a developmental squad at the end of the season but had to be removed from the pool to play for the Bairns in the SPFL Premiership play-off.

At the time, team-mate Mark Millar expressed surprise Sibbald was not also in Ricky Sbragia’s plans after surpassing 100 games for Falkirk – more than any of the last u-19 squad versus Montenegro.

Ex-Bairn Millar trained with Hamilton this week.