Cheers not jeers helped Cicilia now fans need to give youngster time to develop

Cheers not jeers helped Cicilia now fans need to give youngster time to develop

OVF editor Rob Fielding says it’s easy to dismiss Rigino Cicilia’s skills but fans should remember he has had one full league game for the club and is still learning.

Rob Fielding writes…

It was great to experience the ovation that Vale fans gave to substitute Rigino Cicilia during Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Oldham. Cicilia’s impact was such that he scored and was named man of the match and no doubt the ovation he received helped his game.

It’s also easy to forget that at the end of a dramatic Oldham Athletic game, the striker had only played just 450 minutes of League One action…

I would hope that fans continue to be positive and patient with the club’s first Curaçaoan footballer.

It’s easy to forget that with his giant frame, emerging cult hero Rigino Cicilia is still only 22 years of age.

It’s also easy to forget that at the end of a dramatic Oldham Athletic game, the striker had only played just 450 minutes of League One action and completed 90 minutes just once (a game against Oxford during which he scored).

So, not only is Cicilia inexperienced in English conditions but he had played in less than 50 games in Holland before joining the Valiants.

Cicilia is very much still learning the game and still adapting to English conditions. Encouragingly, the striker is showing signs of improvement which makes it galling that one fan labelled him a “Conference player at best” before he’s even had a run of starts for the club.

My point is – Cicilia is not the finished article yet, but if he continues to develop and adapt to the English game, he could develop into a far, more effective player than a “Conference player”.

Cicilia may never reach the heights of the likes of Vale legends such as Foyle, Naylor and Beckford but with a goal every 155 minutes in the fledgling stages of his career he has potential to be more than just a cult hero.

And if he keeps developing and improving he can expect many more “Reggie” ovations from the crowd.

rciciliaReggie in numbers…

  • Minutes played in League One: 450
  • Goals scored in League One: 3
  • League One starts: 4
  • Substitute appearances: 9
  • Number of ninety minute games played: 1
  • Average time on pitch: 34 minutes
  • Minutes per goal: 155

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