Trinidad and Tobago national goalkeeper Kelvin Jack will join a short but respectable list of local players to set foot at Scotland's spiritual home of football-Hampden Park-on April 1 as his Division One employers, Dundee, secured their place in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Thursday night with a 3-2 extra time win over Hamilton Accries.
North East Stars striker and former Caribbean Footballer of the Year, Jerren Nixon, was the first Trinidad and Tobago player to have the honour of playing at Hampden Park when Dundee United won the Scottish Cup in the 1993/94 season.
Trinidad and Tobago internationals Russell Latapy, Marvin Andrews, Jason Scotland and Collin Samuel later joined the list of players at a ground that is reserved for Cup finals and significant international matches. Pencil Jack in.
The 29-year-old six-foot-three goalkeeper is looking forward to Dundee's semi-final Cup match against affluent Division Two club, Gretna.
"It is a magnificent stadium so I'm really looking forward to it," Jack told the Trinidad Express last week.
"I have been there once when I was doing knee strength tests because they have a top class rehab centre there. It is an outstanding playing surface."
Jack has been nagged by a knee injury which was aggravated in World Cup qualifying action against Mexico last October. He missed the last four matches through injury before returning last Thursday for Dundee's Cup quarter-final. Another key return for the Tayside club was ex-Scottish international defender Lee Wilkie who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match against Hamilton.
The club, which went bankrupt two seasons ago, can pocket 250,000 pounds for appearing in the semi-finals. They could make four times as much if they qualify for the Cup final.
"It is massive for the club because Dundee has been through administration and it is much needed funds," said Jack. "Of course your profile goes up when you play in semifinals and finals. So it is good for the club profile as well."
Jack revealed that his knee has responded very well to treatment although he understood his club's conservative approach to his return to full action.
Jack put in a steady performance last Thursday with one alert block at his near post from Hamilton winger Mark Gilhaney in the first half and was quick off his line to dive at the feet of the same player after the break.
Dundee stormed ahead with two headed goals from set pieces by Bobby Mann and Simon Lynch to seemingly wrap up the tie in the 56th and 68th minutes. But Hamilton fought back to equalise with two set pieces of their own.
In the 75th minute, an inswinging freekick from Hamilton substitute Juanjo beat Jack at his far post in a crowded penalty area. Eight minutes later, another substitute Patrick Keogh chested over the line to pull Hamilton level despite a hint of offside.
Again, Jack was partially unsighted in a crowded penalty box as his defence dropped deep and failed to attack the ball.
Two minutes into extra time, though, Dundee sub Steven Craig settled the match with a fierce left footed finish from inside the area although replays showed that he used an arm to control the ball.
Jack was content with his own performance.
"I am satisfied with my first game back," he said. "I was particularly pleased with my kicking and communication."
Jack was rested for Trinidad and Tobago's international friendly against Icelandlast week in Londonbut is anxious to reclaim the number one shirt from rivals Shaka Hislop and Tony Warner who were fielded in T&T's 2-0 win.
"I am looking forward to the competition (for the number one shirt)," said Jack, "because it would be fierce. And I do not intend to fail."
At the moment, Dundee's April 1 Scottish Cup date is the immediate priority.