One to Watch - Jason Scotland
Swansea striker Jason Scotland has been outlined as the One to Watch ahead of tomorrow night`s clash with the Welsh outfit.
29-year-old Scotland was born in Morvant, Trinidad and started out his footballing career with San Juan Jabloteh and Defence Force before moving to his namesake country, Scotland in order to further his career.
He and fellow Trinidad player Devon Mitchell travelled to Dundee United, a side with a great pedigree for footballers from the area with Collin Samuel currently on their books at Tannadice. Scotland was eventually handed a permanent deal after impressing during his brief spell.
He was handed his debut in the 3-1 defeat at home to Glasgow Rangers at the beginning of the 2003/04 season, replacing compatriot Samuel. Mainly used as a substitute in his opening season he had limited chance to impress with Northern Irish outfit Linfield sniffing around the striker with a view to a loan.
He stayed at Tannadice and United soon reaped the rewards. He scored his first goal in their 3-2 win away at Livingston, this was followed up by the only goal of the game as United beat Motherwell 1-0.
The a moment to savour for the prospering forward as he grabbed a brace at home to Glasgow Rangers, the latter in the final minute of the game to hand United a crucial point against the Scottish giants. His final goal in his first campaign proved to be the difference between Dundee United and Dunfermline as his side won 3-2.
Another five goals the following season included a solitary goal as Dundee United went down 7-1 in the Scottish League Cup against the aforementioned Glasgow Rangers. However his moment of glory came in the Scottish FA Cup as he snatched the winner against Hibernian to take Dundee United through to the final. They lost out narrowly to Glasgow Celtic 1-0 courtesy of an Alan Thompson strike.
Controversy ensued in the SPL when Scotland was denied a work permit for re-sign for Dundee United, but just three weeks later was granted a permit to play for St Johnstone, for whom he lined up in 2005.
He was off the mark for his new club on his debut in the 3-1 defeat at Airdrie United. 16 goals in total saw his side to second in the table, well behind champions St Mirren. A particular highlight of the season was the first hatrick of his career at home to Stanraer in a narrow 3-2 win.
In 2006/07 Scotland bagged an impressive 26 goals in all competitions as St Johnstone finished runners up once more, this time to ambitious Gretna by only a point. Braces against East Fife, Queens Park, Dundee, Airdrie, Hamilton and the aforementioned Gretna along with a hatrick in the 5-1 win over Partick Thistle helped a flourishing reputation grow further in the Scottish First Division.
He was voted in the SPFA`s Scottish First Division team of the year, and had firmly established himself in the set-up for Trinidad and Tobago, having been called up to the World Cup squad in the previous summer. 33 league goals in 66 appearances averaged the forward a goal every other game.
Swansea announced the signature of Jason Scotland at the end of the campaign as Roberto Martinez`s side looked to improve on their seventh placed finish in League One.
The signing proved to be inspired as Scotland bagged six goals in his first nine games, going on to score 27 goals in all competitions to help hand Swansea promotion to the Championship as Champions of League One. This included a run of 12 goals in 11 appearances after the turn of the New Year as Scotland was named as the division`s top scorer and in the team of the season.
So far this season he has scored 21 goals in all competitions, including a giant-killing goal to knock Portsmouth out the FA Cup. He also scored two goals against Barnsley under the watchful eye of tomorrow night`s official Mr Horwood as he continues to add to his growing reputation.
In 230 career appearances, Scotland has scored an impressive 97 goals averaging 0.42 goals per game.
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