AFTER A SEASON that pushed them to the very brink of survival, Salgaocar are plotting a strong comeback in the next I-League, seemingly with three Scottishmen at the helm of their campaign.
After extending the contract of their fan-favourite forward, Scotsman Darryl Duffy, and bringing on board a spirited Scottish coach in Malky Thompson, they have just signed the third Scott in their squad, and it is in the form of midfielder Martin Scott.
Much like Darryl Duffy, Scott rose up the ranks of a youth system of a Scottish Premiership club to become a professional. In Scott's case it was Livingston FC, a club from the town where he was born and brough up. But unlike Duffy, he never went on to play in a club outside Scotland, until now.
His debut season for Livingston (2005-2006) was less than ideal as the club put up a poor show and was relegated to First Division (second tier league) at the end of the season. Scott himself made 19 league appearances for Livingston, and did not score any goal. At the summer, he moved on to Second Division (thir tier) club Ross County.
Scott's time at Ross County was where he made a name for himself. He spent 5 seasons with them, making 127 league appearances, netting in 7 goals. In his very first season he helped them win the Scottish Challenge Cup. He played a prominent role in the squad in the 2007-08 season, when they won the league and gained promotion to the First Division. Next season he helped them reach the final of the Scottish Cup, scoring a goal in the semi-final.
He was transferred to fellow First Division club Hibernian FC in January 2011, but his time there was marred by an unsavoury incident. In July that year he had an altercation at the training ground with teammate Sean Welsh. He punched Welsh in the face which led to a fractured cheekbone that required an operation to be set right. Scott was fined for the incident and once a new manager took over, he was used only sparingly. Next year he was loaned back to Ross County.
In 2013 Scott returned to his boyhood club Livingston FC on a one year contract, a year that went on to be memorable for him in many ways. He made 32 appearances for them over the course of the season, and netted 4 crucial goals. One of those goals, against Alloa Athletic, scored from 40 yards away with a half volley, became an instant sensation. Its video went viral on YouTube and gained over 250,000 views.
Scott spent the 2014-15 season at Raith Rovers FC where he got to make 10 league appearances for the first team. In May 2015, Scott left the club, whereupon Darryl Duffy got in touch with him about a potential move to India. After signing for Salgaocar, Scott sounded excited to take on the challenge,
"I am delighted to join Salgaocar FC, a club which I have heard a lot about from the coach and a player I know very well who plays there, Darryl Duffy. I had several offers to play in the UK this season but when the discussion to move across to India came up and that too at Salgaocar FC, I was very keen. I would like to thank the coach and the management at Salgaocar FC for making this possible."
Scott is just 29 so age is not an issue. Salgaocar already have a decent midfield, and the inclusion of a physically strong, fast player like Scott will likely boost the supply line to Duffy. But the only thing coach Malky Thompson will be concerned about is the fact that Scott has never played outside Scottland. The Indian climate will take some getting used to. But hopefully the run-out in the Goa Pro League will help him warm up to the subcontinent well in time for the all-important I-League 2015-16 season.