UPDATE: Sadly, the magic is now dead. Mr John Woods, the Sports Editor of the Irvine Herald, a local newspaper in North Ayrshire, emailed me this afternoon to inform me that there is a rational explanation for all of this. In his words:
So, unfortunately, the SFA will have to find a more complex solution to raising a new generation of talented youngsters than moving all football in the country to Irvine. Thanks to Mr Woods for his setting the record straight.
This isn't something that happened recently, and don't ask how I noticed this, but I've realised, via reading about Craig Conway's move to Cardiff, that he also shares something in common with fellow internationals Kris Boyd, Steven Naismith, James Forrest, and Kirk Broadfoot. Namely, they all hail from the small town of Irvine, in North Ayrshire. Which is more than a little bit unusual.
It's not just those either. Another player who will surely soon join them on the international stage, Jamie Ness, was also born there. Along with other reasonable pros Ryan Stevenson, Paul Caddis, and some decent youngsters like Kyle Faulds, Ally Love, and Jamie McKernon. Is there something in the water? Irvine is not exactly a bustling metropolis - according to Wikipedia, the town had 39,527 inhabitants at the last count in 2007. Nor is it the site of some Ayrshire La Masia or Clairefontaine.
So that's five, count 'em, full internationals, as well as another who almost certainly will be, and a few others of whom a couple will probably get a go at some point. A remarkable record. If people are talking about saving Scottish football, they could do worse than have a look at what they're putting in the water up there. Does anyone else have further suggestions for towns that have produced such a disproportionate number of international footballers?