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JASON Scotland has spelled out a desire to follow in the footsteps of international team-mate Dwight Yorke after passing a landmark birthday.

Swansea City's 17-goal leading-scorer turned 30 on Wednesday.

And Scotland, who admits his current form is probably the finest of his career, insists saying goodbye to his 20s will not mean any slow-down in his career.

"I'd like to think I am in my prime," he says.

"My kids are calling me old and the lads in the dressing room have been giving me plenty of stick, but I just have to keep going and keep working hard.

"Hopefully, I'll be able to carry on doing the business at 30.

"I would like to go on playing for as long as I can and that means trying to stay as fit as I can.

"Dwight Yorke is a good role model for players from Trinidad & Tobago, and I'd like to do something similar to him."

Yorke (right), a Champions League winner with Manchester United 10 years ago, remains a Premier League player today despite the fact that he will turn 38 this year.

As well as turning out for Sunderland, the striker-turned-midfielder remains a key member of the T & T squad after coming out of international retirement for a second time for the current World Cup qualifying campaign.

"He has kept himself fit and worked hard and he is still part of the national team," Scotland adds.

"Sometimes when you finish training, you see Dwight staying out on the pitch to do some extra work.

"He sets a great example for the younger players and, if I can, I would like to get somewhere close to his age before I stop playing.

"To do that you have to keep your body in good shape — but I don't fancy playing in midfield like he does.

"I am quite happy up front scoring goals."

The goals have been flowing of late — 12 have come in Swansea's last 13 matches — with Scotland's brilliant strike against Fulham last weekend propelling him into the national headlines.

An unknown at League One level when he moved to Swansea two summers ago, Scotland is now being touted as a potential Premier League player.

He may have a few years in the tank yet, but 30 is not young when it comes to trying your luck at a higher level.

First brought to Britain by Dundee United in 2003, Scotland spent two seasons at Tannadice before dropping into the Scottish second tier with St Johnstone.

Two successful years there attracted Swansea's attention and it has only been since he came to Wales that Scotland has really started to make a name for himself.

"I was 23 when I came to Britain and I do wish I had come over earlier," he says.

"I played in the top flight for Dundee United but then they said I wasn't good enough for a work permit and I had to drop down to the First Division.

"I think maybe if I'd stayed with Dundee United, I could have pushed my career on a little earlier.

"But I am here now and I am just trying to take my chance.

"When you consider the standard I'm playing at, this is probably the best spell of my career."

After a slow start in the Championship, Scotland has been turning heads ever since a late, spectacular double salvaged a point against a Barnsley in early December.

Martinez is one of many who is convinced the former soldier is ready for a crack at the top flight.

And Scotland concedes that the thought of stepping out in the Premier League drives him on.

"I think it's the ambition of any player to play at the highest level they can," he says.

"I went to the World Cup — although I didn't play — and the next thing I would look to do is play in the Premier League.

"Hopefully I can do that with Swansea next season or the following season.

"But if the opportunity comes to work in the Premier League (with another club), I will have to have a long hard look at it."

Swansea will hope it doesn't come to that.

The plan, after all, is to offer Scotland the chance to take on English football's finest at the Liberty Stadium.

The chance could even come in a few months' time, though Scotland concedes an improvement on Tuesday's defeat at Watford is required if Martinez's team are to force their way into play-off contention.

"We were not at the races," he adds.

"The gaffer had a word with us beforehand about how difficult the game would be, but I think probably as players we took the game lightly.

"We didn't have our usual spark and, when that happens, you have to grind out a draw. We didn't manage that.

"Watford were scrapping for the points and Doncaster will be exactly the same this weekend, so it's going to be another tough game."

The Watford defeat was not exactly the ideal precursor to Scotland's birthday.

But success against an in-form Doncaster side would lift the mood.

"I had a couple of presents from my wife and some calls from back home, and all the lads at the club wished me happy birthday," Scotland says.

"It was a quiet one, really, with the games coming thick and fast, but hopefully I can celebrate with a couple of goals tomorrow.

"It would be nice to get back up to 14 in 14."