Power of Scotland turned up to the max for Portsmouth battle

23 January 2009 08:27
Secret weapon: former soldier Jason Scotland is a threat to Portsmouth Life in south Wales evidently agrees with the man from the Caribbean. He certainly agrees with Swansea. In 18 months since he joined from St Johnstone for£25,000, Scotland has scored 41 goals in 71 starts. His record in British football since he left Trinidad for Dundee United in 2003 is 93 in 177. Scotland came late to the professional game. He is 30 next month, yet there is youth in his legs - and certainly his mind. He knows there are harder professions than being a footballer. He is a trained soldier. Having signed up to join Trinidad's army team Defence Force, he 'passed out' alongside Sunderland midfielder Carlos Edwards. Scotland said: 'There's not much fighting in Trinidad, but I learned how to handle weapons, I worked night duties, learned how to handle a section and be a leader of people. I joined to be a soldier, but that meant I could play for the team. You basically had to be a soldier first. When you're training, you probably won't see a football.   More. Scotland raps Trinidad for wasted journeys PORTSMOUTH v Swansea: New-boy Pennant set to make his debut Pennant blasts Benitez: Rafa forced me to leave Liverpool because I'm English 'After you pass out, you're a normal full-blooded soldier. Defence Force was the top team in Trinidad when I joined. We trained in the morning and I'd be maybe working on night duty or chilling out in the camp. 'The hardest thing was the soldier training because sometimes you didn't sleep. The best thing was the discipline and organisation you learned. I was young, only 17 or 18, and it taught me about life outside football.' Having seen team-mates Edwards and Dennis Lawrence leave for Britain, Scotland had to wait until he was 23 for his opportunity. Living in the country that bears his name was a rude awakening, even if moving to Dundee in August softened the blow. Spot on: Scotland's has been a scoring sensation since his arrival to Britain in 2003 with 93 goals from 177 starts to his name He added: 'I arrived in high summer. I was happy thinking this was a good life, good weather. But the guys said wait until we play Aberdeen and Inverness in January and February. And we did. I always remember a game at Aberdeen on a Tuesday night. I had on long black tights underneath my shorts. I just couldn't believe how cold it was.' Scotland became a cult figure north of the border. A work permit was refused for him to continue with Dundee United on the grounds that he was not up to SPL standard. Consequently he had to drop a division to play for St Johnstone, but in 2006 he carried the hearts of two nations to the World Cup in Germany - Trinidad and the Tartan Army. Remember the name: Scotland is hoping to cause FA Cup holders Portsmouth a cup upset when they meet 'There was great banter at the time that Scotland was going to the World Cup, even though the country hadn't qualified. People were rooting for me to get on the pitch so they could say Scotland played in it. 'Even though I didn't get on, it was an amazing experience. You're on the biggest stage in world football and you're playing England. I was warming up for ages, probably the first 15-20 minutes of the England match hoping the manager would see me and maybe give the nod to go on.' Homesickness and a desire to prove himself in the English leagues persuaded Scotland to sign for Swansea two summers ago. The presence of Lawrence at the club was key, while Scotland underlined his commitment by bringing over wife Nimpha and young daughters Jacelle and Karia from Trinidad. 'They are enjoying it here and I feel comfortable with my family around me now. The main reason I came here was Dennis. He's older than me and I always listened to him when we played for Defence Force. He always gave me good instruction and showed me the right path. 'I just wanted to be closer to him. I felt lonely sometimes in Scotland because I didn't have a Trini companion with me. He's on loan at Crewe now but my wife and my kids are here, so it's much easier than before.' Magic man: Swansea boss Roberto Martinez believes Jason Scotland is at the top of his game As Portsmouth will discover, buttonholing Scotland the player can be dangerous. Swansea manager Roberto Martinez could not have paid his striker a higher compliment than admit that after two seasons he still doesn't know whether Scotland is right or left-footed. The player himself is quite happy with the confusion. 'I favour my right foot so defenders stand up in front of me thinking, "Let him have a shot with his left". That's why the majority of my goals this season have been with my left.' Martinez believes Scotland adds the dimension that could take his side into the Championship play-offs and also past Portsmouth. He said: 'Jason is just a magic player. His talent is unique in modern football. 'You need to give him the ball in good situations and he will score goals. 'Off the pitch, he's lively and very, very loud when he's confident. So it's a great sign if you see him loud.' Portsmouth beware. He is very, very loud at the moment.   More. Scotland raps Trinidad for wasted journeys PORTSMOUTH v Swansea: New-boy Pennant set to make his debut Pennant blasts Benitez: Rafa forced me to leave Liverpool because I'm English  

Source: Daily_Mail