The rise of Kane Vincent-Young

Kane Vincent-Young, in action against Fleetwood

Kane Vincent-Young, in action against Fleetwood - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Kane Vincent-Young was the surprise inclusion in Colchester United’s starting FA Cup line-up, against Tottenham, and the teenage defender took his chance with both hands.

Vincent-Young was preferred to both specialist left-backs Matt Briggs and Nicky Shorey, to play against his former club – he came up through the Academy at White Hart Lane, before being released in 2014.

The 19-year-old resurrected his career at Colchester, joining the development squad before the start of last season, and has been in-and-around the first team this campaign.

Manager Kevin Keen said: “I thought it was tough for Kane in the first 15 to 20 minutes, everyone could see that. But circumstances perhaps made it even more difficult than it should have been,” added Keen, with reference to the early head injuries to fellow defenders Alex Wynter and Tom Eastman in Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat.

He continued: “But I thought, as the game went on, he did really well. Kane showed his ability on the ball and defended well.

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“I was really pleased with him.”

Vincent-Young was one of the success stories of pre-season, impressing in a series of friendlies to earn his place in the starting line-up for the opening day 2-2 home draw against Blackpool.

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He rattled up eight league appearances, before nursing an Achilles injury for a couple of months.

But the Camden-born defender is fighting fit again, with brief substitute appearances in the 3-2 home defeat by Barnsley in mid-December, and the FA Cup third round win over Charlton at the start of January.

Last Saturday, though, was his first start, since the U’s superb 2-1 home win over then-leaders Gillingham in mid-September.

Manager Keen certainly has a decision to make, in terms of who to select at left-back for the Essex derby at Southend United this Saturday.

He has to choose between Vincent-Young, Briggs and recent recruit Shorey – Briggs came off the bench to deputise in central defence against Tottenham.

“Matt Briggs had a tough week, with certain things going on in his personal life, so we made a decision there,” revealed Keen.

“At the same time, he came on after 15 minutes and ended up doing his girlfriend proud.”

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