PLAYING for Chelsea and being fluent in Mandarin, it's fair to say midfielder Ruben Sammut isn't your average young Scottish player.

But the exciting 18-year-old is determined to use playing for Scot Gemmill's Under-19 squad this week in Ireland as a launchpad to a long career for club and country, thanks to help from the likes of John Terry.

Scotland Under-19s face Ireland tomorrow in a must-win European qualifier in Limerick if they are to automatically qualify for next year's Elite Round.

Sammut was excellent in their opening game win against Latvia, but he and his team-mates slumped to a disappointing loss to Slovenia on Sunday.

Regarded as one of the most technically gifted youngsters at Stamford Bridge, the Maidstone-born holding midfielder is enjoying the experience of being part of an international squad and has no regrets about choosing Scotland.

Sammut said: "I’ve really enjoyed it coming away with Scotland. It’s been a great experience for me, to come away on the international breaks from Chelsea and see how other countries play. From a tactical point of view it’s good for my professional development.

"My grandma is from Fife. I’ve never been there but I have been up to visit her in Edinburgh a few times.

"There was never a choice for me. Scotland got in there first and my loyalties are with them.

"I missed the Euros last year in Malta when the boys got to the semi-finals. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure whether I was going to be picked or not, but I had my GCSEs at the same time and my education has always been important. It was good to get that out of the way.

"I’ve got a couple of A levels still to do, but the exam period doesn’t clash this time. I did Mandarin as a GCSE. I don’t think any of the other boys in the dressing room speak it!

"It was a random subject to take but my school was a language school. It fitted into my timetable and I enjoyed it, even though it’s regarded as one of the most difficult languages to learn.

"Being able to write it and read it is challenging. I haven’t been to China yet but hopefully I’ll get the chance to put it go good use one day."

And Sammut admits he is enjoying learning from the best in the business at the English champions, despite manager Jose Mourinho being under pressure.

He said: "It’s going really well at Chelsea. We won the Youth League and the Youth Cup last year. We’ve got the Youth Cup coming up and have started well in the Youth League this time around. We’ve qualified already with two games to spare in the group.

"In the future a loan move probably would be good to get the first team experience to hopefully come back and prove myself as a Chelsea first team player, which is definitely my main goal.

"A lot of the staff are former players, like Jody Morris and Eddie Newton, and the Under-21 coach, Adrian Viveash, is a great help too. They’ve played the game at a high level so that’s good from a tactical point of view and a lifestyle one, in terms of telling us what we should be doing away from the pitch to give ourselves the best chance to do well. The detail they go into is really good.

"I’ve trained with John Terry. He always gives 100 per cent and is one of the best trainers I’ve ever seen. He’s really good with the younger players and talks to you all the time. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve met.

"When you work with the first team Jose Mourinho welcomes you, shakes your hand, talks to you and helps you through the sessions."