A club versus country row was simmering just below the surface today after Dundee United boss Craig Brewster insisted he wants to see Collin Samuel back at Tannadice next Monday .
The striker has flown out to join up with the Trinidad and Tobago squad for friendly games in Port of Spain against Nicaragua on Saturday and Panama a week tomorrow. However, with champions Celtic due at Tannadice on Saturday, October 14, the Tangerines have written to the T&TFF asking that the 25-year-old be excused from the second game.
That request seems likely to fall on deaf ears, especially as the T&TFF have already written to FIFA with regard to Samuel, and two other players they wish to feature in the games, Swansea defender Dennis Lawrence and Walsall keeper Clayton Ince.
Swansea don’t want Lawrence involved in either game, with the same applying to Walsall with regard to Ince.
The letter was signed by Jack Warner, the T&TFF special advisor who is a high-ranking FIFA official.
It requested FIFA to intervene as both games are within the global international match calendar, meaning the country should have access to its players.
Today, Craig confirmed United had contacted the Caribbean nation seeking Samuel’s hasty return.
He said, “I could understand the situation if it were qualifying games, but these are two friendly matches we are talking about. I spoke to Collin before he left and told him we expect to see him back here on Monday. We’ve written to the Trinidad FA and asked just that and we are waiting for them to get back to us.”
St Johnstone striker Jason Scotland has been released for both games.
Raith Rovers, meanwhile, are believed to have made an audacious bid to snatch Lee Wilkie from under the noses of Dundee United. The Fifers are keeping tabs on the big defender, who was pencilled in to play his third and final game as a trialist for the Tangerines against Caley Thistle in a reserve match at Station Park, Forfar, this afternoon.
United will then make a decision on whether or not to offer the former Dundee man a contract.
Raith gaffer Craig Levein said, “Lee is on our radar and, if he was to become available, we would certainly be interested in bringing him to Stark’s Park.”
Several clubs south of the border are also keeping a close eye on any Wilkie developments.