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Ashley Vincent enjoys first game as a Town player

13 July 2014

And is looking to playing WBA the team he supporters

Ashley Vincent is hoping to feature against the club he supported as a youngster on Tuesday night when Premier League West Bromwich Albion visit the Greenhous Meadow.

Vincent, who was Micky Mellon's first signing as Shrewsbury manager, played in Saturday's opening pre-season friendly win against Chesterfield and now wants his new team-mates to reproduce that form against top flight opposition.

"I watched them growing up as a fan so I'd love to see them bring a good side," he said. "For some of our young lads, if they have aspirations of playing at a better level, it's a chance to test themselves against some really good players. West Brom started training a week later than us so might be a bit behind in terms of fitness. We need to show minimal respect in a sense that they're good players but we are too and hopefully we'll take the game to them."

Vincent says he enjoyed his first outing as a Shrewsbury player as a goal in each half against the Spireites earned a two-nil win.

He also reserved special praise for returning striker James Collins, who headed in the opener from a Mickey Demetriou cross.

"It was a great ball by Mickey," he said. "He's got a lot of experience at a lower level but he talks really well and hopefully you'll see more of that this season.

"I played with Tom Pope at Port Vale where he got 30 odd goals in the promotion season and you can see little glimpses of him with Collo's game, although I think he's the better footballer. You'd like to hope we can share the goals around, and if one or two can get into the 20's and as wingers we can supply them with the service, then that will help us to be there or thereabouts when it comes to promotion."

Vincent knows all about success in League Two having won promotion twice before, firstly with Cheltenham and then Vale. He sees no reason why he can't make it a hat trick of successes at Shrewsbury.

"Player for player, it's right up there when comparing the squads," he said. "After two weeks of training we've shown we're together and while it's only a friendly, we've beaten last seasons League Two champions. If we can stick together and perform like that, we won't go far wrong."

From a personal point of view, Vincent admits last season at Cheltenham didn't go the way he wanted, so he's eager to show Town fans what he's capable of this season. 

"Cheltenham was stop-start for me last year and there's a massive point to prove," he admitted. "That was one of the things I spoke to Micky Mellon about when I signed. I don't think the manager at Cheltenham fancied me after bringing me in. I'd won promotion at Port Vale the previous season and then we struggled at Cheltenham so it was a bit strange. But now it's all about Shrewsbury Town, me putting in performances, scoring goals, supplying goals and if that ends in promotion and people saying 'you've proved your point' then that will be fantastic."

He says the enthusiasm shown by Mellon during pre-season training has driven the players on, and he's hoping that continues into the remaining pre-season games and when the action kicks off for real against AFC Wimbledon on August 9th. 

"Micky Mellon is passionate," he said. "He wants high standards, which we set out on the first day when we get the balls out. We were sharp and did well, and he said we shouldn't drop below those standards and we should even try to exceed them. We've beaten Chesterfield and don't want a performance any less than that, whether it be against West Brom on Tuesday or in the season against the likes of Cheltenham or Portsmouth. It's up to us to come in every day, work hard and make sure we deliver.

"The matches are mainly about fitness but the manager said in the dressing room before the game that there's nothing like going into the season on a roll and wanting to win games.  I think we went out there with a desire to put on a good performance, get some fitness and get a result. You can go and run around hills and play five aside but there's nothing like playing in match where it's eleven vs eleven, on a big pitch with people wanting to do well against you.  I know it's only a pre-season friendly but to beat last seasons champions of League Two is a good way to start." 

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