TEENAGE forward Matt Lecointe has committed his future to Argyle.The 19-year-old has accepted the club’s offer of a new one-year deal for 2014-15 following a season wiped out by injury.
Home Park youth team graduate Matt missed the Pilgrims’ 2013-14 campaign after rupturing the cruciate ligament in his knee when he collided with former Argyle goalkeeper Ollie Chenoweth in a pre-season match at Truro City.
Following an operation and recovery work with Pilgrims’ physio Paul Atkinson, the former England under-18 striker is ready to resume his stalled career with Argyle manager John Sheridan’s blessing.
“He’s looking excellent,” said John, after Matt returned to first-team training towards the end of last season. “He’s not in any contact, but he’s involved in all the football we do.”
Plymouth-born Matt has played only once since John took over as Argyle manager, as substitute in a 0-0 home draw with Dagenham & Redbridge in February 2013.
That was the last of his 30 appearances in an Argyle senior career that began as a 16-year-old in August 2011 in a Carling Cup tie against Millwall, when he was a first-year apprentice. Only five previous Argyle players had made their first-team debut at a younger age.
Later that season, the Ivybridge Community College graduate was called into the England Under-18 squad, scoring on his debut against Poland at Crewe’s Gresty Road, before he signed a professional contract at the end of a campaign that had seen him play 22 times, nine times as a starter.
His only two goals came in that spell, both with echoes of previous memories: his first was the opener in a memorable 3-2 win at Dagenham & Redbridge in October 2011; his second was in a defeat by the same scoreline at Crewe the following January.
The following season saw him used more sparingly by manager Carl Fletcher and, then John Sheridan, playing just eight times, but he did show another side to his game when he turned in a more than useful performance as a midfielder against Torquay United.