Why Portsmouth's forgotten man is relishing pre-season challenge with ex-Sunderland and Gillingham defenders for left-back supremacy

Pompey defender Liam Vincent is relishing the competition with Connor Ogilvie and Denver Hume for left-back supremacy next season.

By Sam Cox
Saturday, 28th May 2022, 11:00 am

But he’s being realistic about the task at hand, too.

Due to an eight-month injury lay-off last term, the 19-year-old was unable to fulfil his role of becoming Lee Brown’s youthful understudy at Fratton Park.

And upon his first-team return in March, the landscape of the position had changed drastically – with Brown replaced by the ex-Sunderland defender Hume in January following his move to AFC Wimbledon.

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Meanwhile, amid Danny Cowley’s selection issues during the second half of the campaign, former Gillingham man Ogilvie emerged as an unlikely, but impressive, option in a left wing-back role.

Now, the ex-Bromley ace finds himself as third choice going into pre-season.

But the daunting prospect of dislodging the experienced duo doesn’t deter Vincent, as he looks forward to the challenge this summer.

The youngster also explained how he’s enjoying learning from the duo as he looks to forge a career for himself in the game.

Liam Vincent is fully fit for pre-season this summer. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

Vincent told The News: ‘Of course the competition is great. They are two great professionals as well because, during the short period when I was back, they passed on some of their wisdom.

‘They’re easy to talk to which is good. It is always nice to have that competition, but obviously one day you want to take their shirt.

‘They are two very good left-backs and I’m only going to benefit from being with them and it’s going to help me develop as well.’

Despite the fierce battle for a first-team position, Vincent has revealed his seniors have helped him immensely settle into professional football.

After returning to training from his occupancy in the treatment room, the teenager described how being in the presence of the pair – who have made a combined 349 senior appearances between them – has transformed every element of his game.

Vincent added: ‘They were helping me with various things. It could be something small like bits of positioning and small details.

‘It could be anything as it varies from that. Seeing certain passes, breaking the lines and how you can be defending in one-v-one scenarios.

‘They’ve helped me with all aspects of the game.’