After a brief trial period at the Lamex, Terence Vancooten became signing number eight made by manager Darren Sarll in summer 2017. The 19-year-old full-back signed a one-year deal with the club, having left Reading at the end of the 2016-7 campaign. His first season at the Lamex was interesting enough. A full-back by trade, the feeling was that Vancooten would take the place of stalwart player Ronnie Henry.
Yet, there were also occasions when the player was asked to adopt a central defensive position as Sarll looked high and low for his preferred partnership. A watershed moment, too, for Vancooten during the 2017-8 campaign. Guyana’s national team came calling for the young player, with his international debut made that October.
After Sarll’s dismissal, in came Dino Maamria and the new Boro’ boss set about reshaping the squad in summer 2018. Vancooten was among the players kept, albeit available for loan. The suggestion, therefore, was that Maamria still saw a future for the defender at the club. And so it came to pass, if not immediately obvious.
Vancooten spent large chunks of the 2018-9 campaign out of favour; making the subs bench every now and then. But something clicked towards the end of the season, with Maamria bringing him in as part of a central defensive trio. The move worked, with TVC impressing on the pitch. Not only that, but he was making a mark off it too – with a PFA Community Champion award bestowed upon him.
Terence Vancooten: Before Boro’
Vancooten may not have seen first team action while at the Royals, but two loan spells did give him a taste of senior football. First came a stint at Billericay Town, while the second was a three-month stay with Basingstoke Town.