Bangura case strikes a chord with Jaime

THE decision to finally hand Watford player Al Bangura a work permit will strike a chord with Blues winger Jaime Peters.Bangura last night won his appeal to stay in the UK after being awarded a work permit at a Home Office hearing.

Derek Davis

THE decision to finally hand Watford player Al Bangura a work permit will strike a chord with Blues winger Jaime Peters.

Bangura last night won his appeal to stay in the UK after being awarded a work permit at a Home Office hearing.

The 19-year-old was originally refused leave to stay in this country last month and was set to be deported to his native Sierra Leone.


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But after a meeting with Home Office minister Liam Byrne, the club were handed the unusual option of applying for a work permit - which has now been granted.

A six-strong committee made up of three Home Office officials and three football experts decided that Bangura was a footballer who could add to the status of the professional game in this country.

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Bangura became a father just last month and is closing in on a return to fitness after missing the whole of the season with a broken arm and an ankle injury.

The Championship club will continue their legal battle to ensure that Bangura is able to remain in the country after his current work permit has expired.

Canadian international Peters admitted it was a relief for him when Town offered him a long-term contact and secured the necessary paperwork from the Government so he could carry on playing his trade in this country.

Peters was originally knocked back in his bid for work permit but Joe Royle pleaded his case and an initial visa was granted.

But there were concerns last summer that it would not be renewed until Town presented a new case, which included the assurance of a three-year package

Peters said: “You are always concerned about your job but you have to work hard and hope those things sort themselves out.

“It did for me. I have a three-year contract and a three-year visa and that means all I have to worry about is my football.

“That security helps me to be able to concentrate on just playing.”

There was a concern among Town's coaching staff that once the deal and visa were secured Peters had begun to cruise. Jim Magilton accused him of having a poor mentality and challenged him to work harder.

The 20-year-old insisted he had picked up the gauntlet and was always confident in his own ability and attitude.

Peters said: “I always had belief that I would get back in the team. I was determined to work hard and stay positive.

“All you can do is train hard from Monday to Friday and see if your name is on the sheet.

“I got 30 minutes against Portsmouth and I was really enjoying it. The team did very well considering we were down to 10 men and we had chances to win it.”

Peters went on as substitute in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat by Portsmouth and scored in the 2-0 reserves' win over Peterborough the following Monday.

The poor standard of opposition in the reserve league in which Town are top and unbeaten, has not helped the fringe players, according to Peters.

He said: “We have a lot of great players who can't get in our team and need more games.

“It is always nice to be top of the league but we could do with some stiffer competition.

“Mind you we have beaten teams like Tottenham and Charlton and when you have played against teams at that level you want to play more.”

Peters has made six Town appearances this season, all from the bench. Before his new deal he had made 40 appearances, 28 of them starts, with two goals to his credit.

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