Port Vale: Joining Valiants a family affair for Vincent
ASHLEY Vincent has won a glowing tribute from the man who brought him to Port Vale.
Manager Micky Adams reckons the 27-year-old forward can help fill the huge void left behind by skipper Marc Richards and wide man Sean Rigg.
He couldn't have paid a much bigger compliment to the Birmingham-born Vincent, who has agreed a two-year deal with the Valiants.
"A fully-fit Ashley Vincent will be a handful for any defender at this level," said Adams.
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"He can play in a couple of positions, as a winger or up front, and that's useful when you're working with a squad.
"When you consider we've lost Riggy and Marc over the summer (to Oxford and Chesterfield respectively), it was important to get people in who can play in those kind of positions."
Vincent can't wait to live up to the manager's lofty expectations.
He arrives at Vale Park relieved to have ended a frustrating spell elsewhere, and determined to forge a successful career in Burslem.
"I spent three seasons at Colchester, but I didn't play many games last year and also had a hamstring injury which kept me out.
"I'm looking at this move as the chance to play some games and get my form going again.
"It's about kicking on. I'm 27, I have a young family, and I want to do well, not only for myself, but for them too."
Vincent's family was another factor in his decision to move to the Potteries.
"I had quite a bit of interest in me from clubs over the summer," he said, "but coming here makes sense.
"I'm a Midlands boy at heart, so I'll be moving back in a sense. We will move to somewhere around Stoke-on-Trent and I'll be able to live with my family again.
"I haven't done that for a few years as I've been in Essex. It has been tough, but something like that can make a big difference."
Vincent graduated through the ranks at Wolves before moving to Cheltenham, where he stayed for five years.
He joined Colchester in 2009, initially on loan, but made just 12 appearances in that 2011/12 campaign.
Now he's keen to get back on track and he remains ambitious.
"My first aim is to keep my feet on the ground here, get a good pre-season under my belt, make sure I'm in the manager's starting XI on the first day of the season and stay in for as long as possible.
"I want to find some form, get some goals and you never know where that will take me.
"I've got ambition and, like everyone else in football, I want to be the best I possibly can.
"Whether that's here or elsewhere only time will tell, but I'm committed to Port Vale, putting in some good performances and working hard for the team."
Vincent recognises that the squad still needs fresh faces, despite the arrival of three new boys, but rather than fearing any competition, he's looking forward to the chance to shine.
"The gaffer has said there will be more new players and that's a good thing," he said.
"More competition for places is healthy for the team and we all need to be pulling in the same direction for the ultimate goal, which is the success of the team."
Vincent, of course, has more than one string to his bow with his ability to play up front or out wide.
"I can play on either wing, but I prefer playing down the middle, to be honest," he said.
"I like to get in behind defences and get my shots away.
"I'm full of pace and just about as attacking as an attacker can get."
Music to the ears of Vale fans, no doubt.