SCOTT ARFIELD was left empty handed and missed out on silverware during his first season with Rangers.

Now the Canada captain is going for Gold Cup success this summer.

Arfield will captain the Canucks in their tournament opener against Martinique this weekend as John Herdman’s side look to get their campaign off to a winning start.

The 30-year-old has become a key player for Canada since switching allegiances from Scotland.

Arfield was capped at youth level by the country of his birth but became frustrated by a lack of chances at first team level. He is eligible to represent Canada thanks to his Toronto-born father.

Scotland’s loss has certainly been the Canadian’s gain in recent years and Arfield proved his class once again by netting both goals in the warm-up win over Trinidad and Tobago on Monday.

And boss Herdman is delighted he will be able to call on the Ibrox star for their Group A fixtures, which also include matches against Mexico and Cuba in the coming days.

He said: “Scott has been an absolute gift to Canada and this is a guy that has played at the highest levels of football in Europe.

“He was playing with Burnley in the Premier League week in week out, has won multiple promotions and he is a winner. He is a competitor, he brings an infectious enthusiasm to the group.

“He is a guy that wants to be on the ball, that wants his team to push through to that next level and he is very vocal about that.

“For us, he is an absolute gift from Scotland and I am excited to see him in the Gold Cup now that he is playing with the likes of Alphonso Davies, Atiba Hutchinson and Junior Hoilett in a group that are two years on from the last Gold Cup and hopefully an improved team.

“I don’t know the depth of the Scottish team, but I do know we are very lucky to have Scott. To get a lad that has played that many Premier League matches is great for us.

“When you work with him, you realise how much of a top professional that he is and how much he wants to do well for the boys here. It is just never about him. Like I say, I can’t comment on Scotland and where he fits in that depth chart. But, in ours, he is right at the top.”

It is three years since Arfield committed his international future to Canada and made his debut.

His participation in the Gold Cup means he will miss Rangers’ return to pre-season action on Monday as boss Steven Gerrard steps up his plans for the new campaign.

Canada are expected to qualify for the next stage of the competition alongside Mexico and an extended run to the final in Chicago would keep Arfield Stateside until July 7.

That is four days before the Light Blues play their first Europa League qualifier and the midfielder would then require a break to regroup before returning to Ibrox action.

Arfield was a hugely influential for Gerrard during his first term at Rangers and Herdman reckons he is getting better all the time as he looks to hit the ground running in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Sunday.

He said: “Scott is a big game player. He takes responsibility in big games and he produces big performances.

“At Burnley, at times, he was part of a bigger group of lads, but at Rangers he is one of the key players there and I think he brings that little bit of swagger into this environment here.

“At Rangers, he has been given a much bigger role to play than he was at Burnley. While he played an important role there, I think he has really embraced the leadership role at Rangers and he knows that he is the man to take the team up to that next level in games.

“He has come in with a very ambitious mindset. He really wants to help us push this team to the next level and he seems even more enthusiastic than I have ever seen him in camps.

“He is bubbling, absolutely bubbling. Whatever Steven Gerrard has done with him at Rangers, I think it has only served to empower him and he has given him more responsibility.

“He is the type of guy and player that if you give him that responsibility and that role, he will take it and he will run with it.”

Englishman Herdman was appointed to his current role in charge of the Canada men’s team last January following a stint with the women’s team.

He guided his side to a bronze medal at the London Olympics and is now targeting another positive tournament showing at the Gold Cup.

He said: “I think it is just progression with the team. We have had six camps with the team and in every camp we had just added another layer on the team coaching and the team spirit, which I think is crucial to us being successful.

“The game against Trinidad and Tobago was played in tough conditions, hot conditions, but you saw that resolve in tough moments from the group. That is a big part of it.

“I would like to see us progress. This is a journey towards World Cup qualification and that is the most important thing on my mind as a coach.

“The Gold Cup now gives us a chance to come up against tougher opponents and in moments where you are going to be tested. Any mistakes will put you out of the tournament.

“I think there is growth in the team spirit and the tactics, but the thing I am most looking forward to is to see that chemistry coming with players that have had five or six games together. There will be a greater fluidity.

“I have said this to the players. They are very clear on what they are here to do and there is an end in mind, which is to go after this Gold Cup. They feel there is talent in the group. It is training session by training session, it is a process.

“They keep growing game by game and keep going through the tournament for what will be some pretty big tests if we push through to those quarter-finals and final stages.”