“It’s a huge game for me to start in” – Colchester United keeper Jake Kean
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
New recruit Jake Kean is relishing the challenge of helping to propel Colchester United up the league, as well as trying to make further progress in the FA Cup.
Signed on a month’s loan from Norwich City on Thursday, experienced keeper Kean will go straight into the U’s starting line-up for today’s FA Cup third round tie at home to Charlton Athletic.
And after making his U’s debut – it will actually be his first senior appearance of the season – Kean will then be knuckling down to plot the Essex club’s route out of the League One relegation zone.
“I have no qualms about joining a struggling team,” explained Kean.
“Normally, when you go in on loan, as a goalkeeper, it’s because things need to be changed, more often than not. So you understand what you are going to.
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“Personally, I’d rather go into a struggling side where I can show what I can do, rather than stay and be safe at Norwich, and not play games, just training week-in, week-out.
“I had been looking to get out on loan, to play some games.
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“Norwich agreed, and Colchester seemed like the best option to me.
“There’s no substitute for playing League football. It was either coming here and playing some games, which I wanted to do, or else staying at Norwich and playing just one or two reserve team games.
“Every player that works from Monday to Friday wants to be playing a proper game on the Saturday.”
Although Kean is yet to make an appearance for Norwich – he joined the newly-promoted Canaries after being released by Blackburn Rovers last summer – the 24-year-old can call upon bags of experience, gained both at Ewood Park and at various loan clubs.
In fact, Derby-born Kean played in the Premier League with Blackburn (one appearance, away at Chelsea, on May 13, 2012), and was in goal when Rovers shocked Arsenal with a 1-0 win in the FA Cup at the Emirates, back in February, 2013.
“My last first-team game was at the back end of last season, but it’s not a problem coming straight into the team,” continued Kean.
“It’s a huge game for me to start in, but it’s the same principle whether you have not played for a few months, or have been playing every week.
“I’ve played in a lot of big games, and it doesn’t really faze me.
“I played in the Arsenal FA Cup game, which is one of the highlights of my career, together with playing in the Premier League with Blackburn.
“And I hope that I can take these experiences into Saturday.”
Kean has not ruled out the possibility of staying with the U’s, beyond the initial one-month agreement, although long-term he wants to establish himself in the Canaries starting line-up, in the Premier League – he is currently third choice, behind Declan Rudd and John Ruddy.
“Looking beyond a month, there is a possibility to extend the deal,” admitted Kean.
“But my long-term objective is to break into the Norwich City side, and play in the Premier League.
“Declan Rudd (current first choice) has been at the club for years, and he’s managed to break into the first team. He’s done really well, so hopefully I can emulate that.
“For the moment, I’m here at Colchester to play the games, and then I’ll go back to push for a first-team place at Norwich.”