Vincent signs three-year deal

ASHLEY Vincent is looking forward to his first full season with Colchester United, after signing a three-year contract before the squad disbanded for their summer break over the weekend.

Carl Marston

ASHLEY Vincent is looking forward to his first full season with Colchester United, after signing a three-year contract before the squad disbanded for their summer break over the weekend.

It was always expected that Vincent would stay long term with the U's, following his initial loan move from Cheltenham Town in March. The Essex club could not sign him on a permanent contract at that point, because the transfer window was closed.

Now the former Wolves trainee looks set to play a key role in United's future under manager Paul Lambert, who himself is gearing up for his first full season at the helm.


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“Signing for Colchester gives me another chance to have a good crack at League One, but in a side that is aiming to play in the Championship,” insisted Vincent, whose old club Cheltenham were relegated to League Two.

“I liked what I saw last season and everything the manager does is geared towards winning.

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“The club are ambitious and I want to play at the highest level possible. Colchester have only been out of the Championship for a year, and I feel I have a good chance of getting up there with this club.”

The 24-year-old featured regularly during the last two months of last season, and celebrated his first goal in a U's shirt in a 2-0 win at Yeovil Town on the final day of the campaign. He had also netted six goals for Cheltenham during 2008-09 before his switch to the Community Stadium.Vincent can operate as a winger or a striker. He has expressed a preference to play in a central role up front, although it is more likely that he will be employed as a winger next term.

This will especially be the case if his former Cheltenham team-mate, Steven Gillespie, is able to put all his injury worries behind him following a frustrating first season with United.

Club record signing Gillespie, an out-and-out striker, only played one full game of 90 minutes all season, and that was at Hartlepool on the opening day, when he scored twice in a 4-2 defeat.

Referring to his new long-term recruit Vincent, U's boss Lambert said: “I think Ashley can be a really good player, and has a great career in front of him.

“He's got the enthusiasm and hunger, and he'll be a big player for us next season. He's got pace, and when you've got that you've always got a chance.”

Meanwhile, as revealed last week, keeper Mark Cousins will be staying at the Community Stadium. The 22-year-old's original contract expired at the end of season, but he too put pen to paper on a new deal before leaving on his summer break.

Cousins played 13 games last season, including a run of eight consecutive appearances during March and early April.

He is very much a part of manager Paul Lambert's plans for the future, and has been rewarded with a two-year deal.

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