Frankie Kent hoping to be back in action for Colchester United in the near-future
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
For the present, Frankie Kent is battling to overcome a niggling ankle injury, but for the future, things looked far more settled.
Kent yesterday put pen to paper on a new deal, which will keep him at the Essex club for another two-and-a-half-years, until the end of the 2019-20 season.
The 21-year-old centre-half has already rattled up 63 senior appearances for the U’s, since graduating from the Academy, and that figure would have been even more, but for a few injuries.
Kent is currently sidelined by an ankle problem, which will again see him miss tomorrow’s visit of Wycombe Wanderers, having featured in all the first seven fixtures of the season.
But longer term, he is delighted to sign a new deal.
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“It’s another stepping stone for me, in my bid to try and improve and to try and get even better,” enthused Kent after yesterday’s training session at Florence Park.
He continued: “This is the place to do it, at the minute.
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“I’ve come through the Academy here, through the youth team and then gradually broken into the first team. I think it’s the right thing to do, to sign this new deal.
“It’s a two-and-a-half year contract, so security was a big thing, a major part of it, being secure and stable here.
“But I’m not saying that I can relax now, because the pressure is on me as an individual to perform.
“It’s very competitive in my position,” added Kent.
The Havering-born defender has sat out the U’s last two matches, a 1-1 home draw against lowly Chesterfield and then last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at struggling Cheltenham Town, which was the U’s fourth straight away defeat.
But he is hoping to back soon, to help steer John McGreal’s men into the top half of the table.
“The injury is OK,” revealed Kent.
“I’m waiting on some results back from a scan. It’s getting better, and it’s a lot better than what it was. Hopefully, it’s not too serious.
“That’s what has held me back over the last couple of years, picking up niggling injuries, but hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later.
“It happened in the Crawley game (3-1 win a fortnight ago). It was the same ankle problem that I had last year.
“It’s been a niggle that was a problem during pre-season and at the start of the season. I had been able to manage it and get through it, until the Crawley game when I planted the foot really hard and got a kick on it.
“So I didn’t want to take any chances by going out for the second half,”added Kent, who was replaced by fellow centre-half Cameron James at half-time.
Kent continued: “For a few days after that, the ankle was swollen and it wasn’t really getting too much better. So I got the scan done.
“I was out today (yesterday) doing a few bits with (Tony) Flynn (physio) and it felt OK. It still feels a bit tight, but it’s down to where it was before, so hopefully I’ve just jarred it a little bit and is not too serious.
“I had been trying to manage it from the middle of pre-season, and I wanted to keep playing.
“But I didn’t want to let down the team, by playing on for too long, which is the reason why I went off (against Crawley).
“I didn’t want to take any chance, with it being the ankle I have had problems with in the past.
“It will only have been two weeks on Saturday, although I’ve been gutted to miss two or three games.
“Before the injury, it was nice to be in the team for a bit, and to stay in the team and to know that I was a mainstay of the side, playing in every match.
“The injury is just one of those things. Now I want to get back as quickly as I can.”
The U’s are currently down in 17th spot in the League Two table, after mustering just two wins from their first eight fixtures.
They have earned all their eight points on home turf, with wins over Forest Green Rovers – Kent scored (at both ends!) in that 5-1 triumph – and Crawley.
But on the road, they have suffered defeats at Accrington Stanley, Luton, Cambridge and Cheltenham.
Kent remarked: “It’s been a tough start for the team, and everyone knows about our poor away record.
“The next week is really important for us, because we have three games in just eight days.
“I feel that it’s been an awkward start. I think we are getting over the losses really well, performing well and getting the results at home, but letting ourselves down away from home. It’s been very stop-start.”
Next week, the U’s are on the road at Grimsby (Tuesday) and Yeovil (Saturday week).