Vancooten keen to kick on following superb season for both club and country

Stevenage players warm up during Stevenage vs Portsmouth, Friendly Match Football at the Lamex Stad

Stevenage players warm up during Stevenage vs Portsmouth, Friendly Match Football at the Lamex Stadium on 20th July 2019 - Credit: David Loveday/TGS Photo

Despite a frustrating start, Terence Vancooten ended last season as a key player in the Stevenage side and representing his country at a major international tournament. Now, he is determined to kick on in 2019/20.

The 21-year-old found opportunites scarce for most of the last campaign, but he became a key man at the heart of Boro's defence as they finished the final six games unbeaten.

Speaking to CometSport, Vancooten admitted his frustration but was pleased he took his chance when it came and is keen to continue showing what he can do.

"Last season was a bit of a frustrating one to be fair," he said.

"I was constantly fighting hard to work my way back into the team, but I just had to be patient, resilient and keep working hard and I knew that my time would come. But I just had to take it and thankfully I did.

"I want to secure my place 100 per cent this season.

"This is the moment I've been waiting for to be fair, where hopefully I break through and people see what I'm really about."

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Despite his disappointment at not being picked earlier in the campaign, the defender was full of praise for boss Dino Maamria.

"As a coach, he always wants the best out of you and he's very truthful, but that's what you want from a manager," he added.

"Some managers these days wrap up their players in cotton wool, but he just tells you how it is and he's a good manager."

While most of his Stevenage teammates rested over the summer after gruelling campaign, Vancooten represented Guyana at the Gold Cup, playing in all three of their games as they were knocked out at the group stage.

It's an experience the 21-year-old believes will help him improve, adding: "The Gold Cup was unbelievable. The first game was in front of 21,000 people which is the largest crowd I've played in front of.

"It's also a different style of football as well, it's so much more energetic and it's helped me adapt.

"Just playing in those other countries helped with my fitness, like the humidity of playing in Costa Rica.

"We had a friendly against Bermuda and the altitude was crazy, it was like playing in the clouds!"