National team head coach Leo Beenhakker was called upon to take a bit of extra interest in the mood of striker Jason Scotland in Fort Lauderdale after the Scottish-based striker learnt on Tuesday evening that he may be forced to end his career in Scotland after the Home Office turned down his application for a work permit renewal.
This has caused a block on Scotland’s new two-year contract and has left the former Defence Force player in no man’s land regarding his professional career.
Scotland is one of five strikers Beenhakker in his current squad preparing for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and he will certainly be looking to get piece of the action which could possibly strengthen his chances of winning the permit appeal.
A United spokesperson said the club were "astonished at this decision by a panel consisting mainly of ex-players".
Scotland’s agent Mike Berry has also promised to look further into the matter to try and ensure that Scotland does in fact have something to look forward to when the new season begins.
"They have deprived this player of his livelihood and Dundee United of an extremely valuable squad player. We have been told that Jason was refused his work permit because he was not of the highest calibre and would not make a significant contribution to the Scottish game.
"However, they seemed to overlook that today's football is very much a squad game and Jason was a key element of our team - he had that superb ability to turn a match by using his undoubted exceptional skills. Local politicians are already taking an interest in this disgraceful decision. Jason is deeply upset by this panel slamming the door on him. He loved his life in Scotland and playing football in Scotland and they have taken that away from him."
Though vibrant in the two sessions on Tuesday evening and Monday morning at the Hilton training pitch, Scotland is understandably down but is promising to keep himself up.
Haven’t not had as many appearances for the national team as he would have liked over the past two years, Scotland had been left crossing his fingers in hope of getting the permit. But if all doesn’t go well, he still has hopes of playing in some other overseas professional league.
“It has left me hoping for the best but I am confident that things will work out in my favour,” Scotland told TTFF Media. “I heard about the decision here and all I can say is that I’m thankful too at the moment that I’m here with the guys and I have a chance to get some more games under my belt with the Gold Cup. It’s important that I perform well and that the team does good too. I’m not going to be down over this situation,” he added.
English-based goalie Shaka Hislop was the final player to join the camp, arriving in the afternoon period and was carded to take part in the training session scheduled for 5pm at the nearby pitch. Luton Town midfielder Carlos Edwards also trained on Tuesday evening, a couple hours after arriving from London.