Shaun Maloney was envious of Wigan team-mates Gary Caldwell and James McArthur's involvement with Scotland before making his own return to the national set-up.
The winger is back in the squad ahead of this weekend's friendly against the USA in Jacksonville and is set to earn his first cap since a win over the Faroe Islands in November 2010.
Maloney was rewarded with the call-up after proving instrumental in helping Wigan retain their Barclays Premier League status.
He told the Scottish FA website: "Of course you are very envious when you're not involved with Scotland and see team-mates like Gary Caldwell and James McArthur going off to meet up with squads.
"I did miss it and I think that was part of my motivation to get back into the team with Wigan, so I was happy to get the call-up this time.
"My family are very patriotic when it comes to things like this and, of course, it means a lot to me."
Maloney is well aware of tough competition for places.
He added: "It's going to be very tough to get into the starting 11 but that's a good sign so fingers crossed we keep improving.
"At the end of the campaign last year we finished pretty strongly and we'll need to start like that if we want to qualify this time."
Scotland have not qualified for a finals since France 98 but Maloney is optimistic about the current crop of players' chances of finally ending their exile from major tournaments ahead of the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.
He said: "I don't personally get annoyed by all of the references to France 98.
"It's certainly something that we want to change, we want to get to a finals, but it was obviously a great achievement for the 98 squad and they deserve credit.
"Time will tell if we have enough to qualify at the end of this campaign.
"It's a hard group with teams all capable of taking points from each other but we definitely have a good chance of coming out of it."
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