Date:Tuesday September 19 2006
With Pompey set to rotate their strike force for the Carling Cup tie with Mansfield at Field Mill tonight, another striker hoping for an opportunity to shine in the future is youngster James Keene.
Andrew Cole and Lomana LuaLua are set to be paired together tonight for the first time as Cole makes his debut with Harry Redknapp resting his regular partnership of Kanu and Benjani. When speaking to SKY Sports News Redknapp would say the following as regards to Cole.
"Andy's a top player. I'm looking forward to getting him fit."
"He's a goalscoring machine as he's shown all his career, so he'll play and LuaLua needs a game as well."
Niko Kranjcar and Manuel Fernandes are also in line for much anticipated debut's tonight, with David Thompson and Ognjen Koroman also set to be given starts, the latter his first since his return. David James and Sol Campbell are likely to be he other big names rested.
Keene however, who is currently on a season long loan with Swedish side GAIS will be returning in November when their season end, hopes to be able to be a part of the Pompey revolution, when himself speaking to Fotbolldirekt.com Keene would say.
"It is correct. I have always dreamt of playing in The Premiership."
"Therefore, I will go back after this season and try to win a place."
"It will be tough, but I really want to try. I am missing English football."
The 20-year-old has scored 9 goals in 17 appearances for the Scandinavian outfit which will have only helped him gain yet more valuable first team experience, having had similar loan spells with Kidderminster Harriers in the 2004/05 season and both Bournemouth and Boston United during the 2005/06 season.
The striker, who came though the Pompey youth set-up made his Pompey debut at the end of the 2004/05 season, featuring in the final two matches of that season under former manager Alain Perrin.
The likes of fellow forwards, and new arrivals Andrew Cole and Kanu, among others will only help Keene and his future development. His chances would appear to be very limited this season; however I would still very much like him to return and learn from these people, training with them can only help him. Maybe chances can be given in the Carling Cup, provided we continue our progression, remaining in the tournament upon his return?
I'm hoping that we don't see James Keene end up in a similar position as Rowan Vine? When Vine was with the club Redknapp was very eager to retain his services despite allowing loan moves, however Perrin's arrival saw his departure. Perrin was very keen (pardon the pun) on Keene, but will Redknapp be equally as enthusiastic?
We've had too many in the past, the likes of Robbie Simpson and Luke Nightingale much raved about yet they faded away into the darkness. At 20-years-old old Keene is very much one for the future so hopefully his development will continue at Fratton Park and he can one day succeed where they failed and become the top striker at Pompey his potential seems to show he has.
Date:Tuesday September 19 2006
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