National defender Brent Sancho has hit back at Gillingham chairman Paul Scally for accusing him of being an underhand and deciding to choose country over club.
Sancho is coming off a hamstring injury and has been selected by head coach Leo Beenhakker for the upcoming matches against Bahrain. However he was eventually able to make the trip based on the advice of a private doctor after Gillingham officials insisted that Sancho was unfit even though he was able train and even be involved in matches over the past two weeks.
Scally was not pleased that Sancho made the trip for Saturday’s clash.
“We are talking about players characters. Brent Sancho has been injured and it is our view that he shouldn't be going to Trinidad and Tobago to play for them next week. But he has sought medical advice from his own doctor who has said he is fit despite our physios and doctor saying he isn't fit. He wants to go and play for them next week and we have told him that he cannot go and he has said he is going. That is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about today. What's more important? To us it's this Football Club, so there is another player that we have got an issue with,” Scally stated.
Bur Sancho was having none of it.
“I’m absolutely distraught of being accused of not being fully committed to the club because I have given my all since joining them and only because of injury I had been out leading up the last couple weeks. I took the decision to see a specialist because I was keen to get better and even when I did I indicated that I wanted to play against Blackpool but they were having none of it. They were telling me I had to wait to get a scan and that I was not fit. Now they are trying to affect my focus for this game. I feel like I’m being made a scapegoat for a loss that I was not even a part of on the weekend,” Sancho told TTFF Media.
“The chairman even saw me before I left and said hello. Maybe it would have been better if he pulled me aside and talked rather than expressing his views publicly.”
”But the most important thing is that I am here committed to serving Trinidad and Tobago. That’s the focus over the next week or so.”
Sancho’s agent Mike Berry pointed out that Sancho in fact injured his hamstring while playing for Gillingham which prevented him from playing against Mexico. He then consulted T&T team doctor Terrence Babwah who advised him on seeing a specialist.
“He even bought a house and loves the town and the club,” Berry said.
“It is a disgrace that Paul Scally has accused Brent of being underhanded. He should remember that the player got his injury trying to stop an attack on the Gillingham goal and not playing for T&T. Brent informed the coaching staff and Manager on several occasions that he was fit and ready to play....Indeed he pleaded last week to be included in the squad for the cup game but was omitted. What more could the boy do. He loves playing for GFC and has a great rapport with the fans and its a shame they did not give him the chance to play last Sturday! I would have thought that the Chairman would have been proud of the boy being so close to World Cup qualification and sent him to T&T with his blessing and good wishes after all the clubwill benefit from all the publicity and marketing opportunities coming his way when T&T qualify.
“I am rather sad and surprised that Scally has chosen to make Brent a scapegoat for the pressure he is under at the moment and hope he will take a chill pill and put this matter to rest and let Brent continue doing what he loves which is playing for Gillingham.”