Sun, Nov

Trinidad and Tobago striker Collin Samuel rued his international exile yesterday as he was denied the chance to join England League Two club, Scunthorpe.

The 23-year-old Samuel was denied a work permit after his case appeared before a tribunal in Sheffield yesterday afternoon.

Samuel had already agreed personal terms with the "Irons" after his current Scotland Premier League employer, Dundee United, advised him to find a new club.

However, his failure to play a significant number of games for club and country scuttled his prospective move as the Department of Employment ruled against him.

Their decision effectively means that Samuel is not considered to be high profile enough to deny a British player an opportunity at Scunthorpe.

Samuel returned to United, where he still has 18 months left on his contract.

"I feel very, very disappointed," he said. "I will have to wait now until probably the summer before I can find another club."

He believes that his inability to break into the Trinidad and Tobago national squad hurt his chances of a move south of the Scottish border.

"I think the fact that I was not playing with the national team definitely had a part to play in it too," said Samuel. "I have not been involved with the team lately."

Samuel made a sparkling senior debut under Brazilian coach Rene Simoes on January 11, 2002 when he scored a hat-trick in T&T's 3-2 win away to Grenada.

However, he managed only nine caps since then under interim coach Clayton Morris, Hannibal Najjar and Stuart Charles-Fevrier, while he has been overlooked by present coach Bertille St Clair.

Samuel's last senior cap came on May 28, 2003 in a 1-1 draw away to Kenya under Charles-Fevrier.

His club form since his international exile has been less than inspired.

After scoring 16 goals in his debut season with Scotland First Division club, Falkirk, Samuel scored two goals in his first SPL season with United and failed to open his account this season.

The former Mayaro Composite and CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh star admitted that he failed to settle at United and blamed his inability to get a successive run of matches and the direct style of play favoured by manager Ian McCall.

But he will hope for a change of fortune as he rejoins compatriot Jason Scotland, who has also been relegated to the bench this season, at United. Both players represent half of the Trinidad and Tobago contingent at Tayside as national defender Brent Sancho and goalkeeper Kelvin Jack play their trade with rivals, Dundee.