“The most drama I have had” – Colchester United new recruit Kaspars Gorkss

Kaspars Gorkss

Kaspars Gorkss

Kaspars Gorkss has only been at Colchester United for a few days, but he has already enjoyed the best FA Cup experience of his whole career.

The experienced 33-year-old was back in his native Latvia last Thursday, when he received an emergency call from U’s boss Tony Humes.

Latvian international centre-half Gorkss, who was released by Reading last summer, was on a plane within 24 hours and was immediately introduced to his new team-mates on Friday.

Two days later and he was starring in a dramatic FA Cup first round victory over Peterborough, when Sam Walker’s superb 89th minute penalty save was followed by George Moncur’s sensational injury-time winner.

“I can’t remember being involved in any exciting FA Cup games before, to be honest,” revealed Gorkss.

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“So I guess this was the most drama I have had in an FA Cup game.

“It was pleasing to keep a clean-sheet, but I think we owe the goalie (Walker) a big thanks.

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“As it turned out, it was a great game to come into, with the drama of the Cup, as so often happens.”

In 10 previous games in the FA Cup, Gorkss had only tasted victory once, in his first appearance in the competition back in 2007, a 4-2 win for Blackpool against Aldershot.

Gorkss had only played four games this season, but all of them had been for his country in European Championship qualifiers.

His last outing had been a 6-0 thumping at Holland on November 16 – so ironically he came into Sunday’s game against Posh in the same position as his new U’s team-mates, who had been thrashed 6-0 at MK Dons the previous weekend.

“I arrived on Friday, so it’s all happened very quickly,” said Gorkss.

“I haven’t played much this season, but I did play for Latvia in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago.

“I suppose you could say that it was straight into the fire (against Peterborough). I didn’t have much time to prepare myself, but that’s how it goes in football sometimes. I need to go straight into the games.”

Gorkss played alongside Tom Eastman in the heart of defence against Posh, giving the back-line some much-needed composure and extra experience.

The long-term injuries to Magnus Okuonghae, who is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, and Frankie Kent, sidelined until February following a knee operation, had left manager Humes with a big headache in the heart of defence.

The U’s boss would probably have had to move QPR loanee Cole Kpekawa from left-back into central defence against Posh, a big ask for an 18-year-old making only his third ever senior appearance, if Gorkss had not agreed to a short-term deal.

But Gorkss did answer the U’s distress call, and has signed a short-term contract until January.

“I’m not sure I even know the names of everyone in the team yet, at this point of time,” confessed Gorkss.

“Obviously, on the defensive side of things, communication is a big factor, so that (Sunday’s game) probably wasn’t the best build-up.

“But we now have one week in which to prepare for the next game.

“So it’s only going to better, hopefully,” added Gorkss, who should make his U’s league debut at home to Rochdale on Saturday.

After beginning his career in Latvia, while also appearing in the Swedish top flight, Gorkss first moved to England at the end of 2006 to join Blackpool.

He went on to play 50 league games for the Seasiders, before moving to QPR for £250,000 in 2008.

Gorkss helped QPR to win promotion into the Premier League during his three-year stay at Loftus Road, and then went on to help his new club Reading to the Championship title and so the top flight in 2011-12.

He was eventually released by Reading last summer, after making 81 league appearances for the Royals – his last outing was as a late substitute in a 3-1 win at Doncaster on the last day of last season.

“My goal was always to get back into the English game,” revealed Gorkss.

“And I’ve come into a very young team. In fact, I’m probably older than everyone by 10 years!”

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