Plymouth Argyle's Matt Lecointe revels in deeper midfield role
ENGLAND under-18 international Matt Lecointe could see more action in midfield for Plymouth Argyle in the future.
Usually a striker, teenage talent Lecointe made an impressive cameo appearance playing in a deeper role in the 0-0 draw against Torquay United at Plainmoor on Saturday.
Lecointe was a 57th minute substitute for 19-year-old Luke Young and took over from him in the centre of midfield as part of a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Lecointe, 17, showed a good touch and vision on the ball and was always ready to receive possession, regardless of whether any opponents were around him or not.
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The composure of the former Hyde Park Junior School and Ivybridge Community College student, in the heat of a Devon derby, was admirable.
Argyle manager Carl Fletcher insisted he had not been surprised by the smooth way Lecointe slotted into his unaccustomed midfield role.
He paid tribute to the coaching Lecointe has had as a youngster at Argyle from, among others, academy manager Kevin Hodges.
Fletcher told Herald Sport: "I'm quite lucky with my young players. They are all technically good.
"They have had a good upbringing through the youth team under Hodgie, and they have spent a lot of time with the first team now.
"Matty can play anywhere really. It is the same with Youngy and Simsy (first-year professional Jared Sims).
"They are all good footballers, so you can put them on anywhere.
"I think people probably forget Matty is still only 17. He came on (against Torquay) and got a grip of the game and showed what he can do, which is pleasing."
Lecointe signed his first professional contract with the Pilgrims in the summer, after making his first team debut at the age of 16.
He has made three starts and two substitute appearances this season.
Lecointe has not scored yet, although he did convert his spot kick in Argyle's penalty shoot-out defeat by Burnley in their Capital One Cup second round tie at Turf Moor on August 28.
Fletcher added: "If you put Matty in midfield, he has got that desire to get forward because it's a natural instinct for him."