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Vassell to make most of City opportunity
12:53pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Sport
SELF-CONFESSED “City Boy” forward Kyle Vassell feels playing at Chelmsford City under manager Glenn Pennyfather will be the perfect environment to propel himself back into the Football League at the same time as helping the Clarets to collective league and cup success on several fronts in 2012/13.
The ex-Norwich City striker or left winger, who was at Brentford as a youngster, is cup-tied for Saturday’s FA Trophy last 16 trip to FC Halifax Town, but he’s determined to make Chelmsford the club where he turns his fate around having admitted to “letting myself down” with his first spell in professional football.
Vassell spent a few months at Carrow Road then played for the youth and reserves at Brentford until his release in the summer of 2011.
He regrets not making the most of the opportunity, recalling: “I was a loud type of player, and if I’d have applied myself better I could still be in the league now, so I feel I’ve let myself down.
“I was a late developer at 16 and was discovered playing for my local side, Pinnacle. A few of us were taken over for Middlesex trials.
“There were about 200 other boys there but we had three games and I was one of the ones chosen. Then I was scouted playing for my county, and ended up at Norwich.
“I liked it there but I’m more of a city boy, so spending two days a week away from home was tough with all the travelling and I joined Brentford as a scholar.
“I spent two-and-a-half years there and, in the first, I was right among the contenders for the first team. But in the second I was well out of contention.
“I thought I was a lot better than I was and got impatient. When you’re like that you can either go in one of two ways – the staff believe in you and push you through or you’re kicked aside. When I was released it taught me a lot. I learned about personal development when I was there and I’m more mature now.”
His time at Griffin Park was initially intertwined with spells at Woking and St Albans City in the Conference South before he linked up with Dover Athletic.
He spent a short time at Tooting & Mitcham United and Whitehawk towards the end of 2011 until signing for Sutton United and scoring 13 goals in 38 games there.
Kyle helped Staines Town to avoid relegation from the same division last season, but when he left Gander Green Lane he said his choice of where to go next was easy, making his Clarets debut in December away at Salisbury City.
He added: “I continued to mature at Sutton and really liked the manager over there.
“But it’s hard to make it at a club like that because they’re more about experienced players who can do the job they need at the time. “Now I’m at Chelmsford I’m really enjoying it, and I’ve settled quickly. Glenn told me this is a place where I can enjoy my football and get back into the shop window and he’s stuck to his word.
“When I arrived I told Glenn I don’t like losing, and he replied me and him were going to get on very well!
“My aim is to get back into the league, and there are plenty of other players here who want to develop and do the same. Promotion looks good on your CV and I’ve been made to feel very welcome here.”
He could hardly have asked for a better start, scoring a scorcher to seal a 2-1 home win over fellow contenders Boreham Wood a fortnight ago.
A 3-2 defeat from a winning position at leaders Salisbury, a single-goal win at Billericay on New Year’s Day and last Saturday’s 92nd-minute loss at Maidenhead United have also featured.
“At Salisbury we played some really good football – not so much at Billericay because the pitch was awful. It was similar at Maidenhead – I kept losing my feet and it was difficult just to get a good contact on the ball.
“But it was an absolute rocket which won it – something which happens once or twice a season – so we were unlucky.”
On his own home debut wonder strike, he added: “It was the ideal start for me. They get good crowds at Sutton but nothing like we get here at Chelmsford.
“I came on, got the ball out of my feet and found the top corner. I’m confident with my shooting and people might start expecting those goals from me now, so I’ll keep trying!”