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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Konchesky's ready for the top
Charlton's Paul Konchesky has looked an assured performer on the Premiership stage
Paul Konchesky has come on in leaps and bounds

In many ways, 21-year-old Paul Konchesky could be said to epitomise his club.

Small, steady, ambitious and well-organised, the young left-back has become a favourite with fans and manager alike.

And all the evidence suggests that the player and club can continue to develop into established Premiership forces.

Konchesky certainly has all the attributes to make it as a top-rank player.

Blessed with a sweet left foot and fantastic crossing and dead-ball delivery, the left-back has added pace and excellent reading of the game to emerge as one of England's leading young left-sided players.

The left-back has already installed himself in David Platt's England Under-21 set-up, starting all three games in the recent European Championships where he barely put a foot wrong.

Despite England's early exit, Konchesky impressed at the European Under-21 Championship in Switzerland
Konchesky enjoyed a fine U-21 European championship

And with quality left-sided English players still few and far between, England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson could do a lot worse than have a look at Konchesky.

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley certainly believes the 21-year-old has the talent to go all the way.

"If Sven-Goran Eriksson is looking for young players for England then Paul Konchesky has been superb for us," he said as early as February 2001.

Continuing Charlton's recent tradition of unearthing fine homegrown talent, Konchesky is set to challenge the late-blossoming Chris Powell for the left-back spot, and has the pace, touch and versatility to move into midfield if required.

It has been a long and occasionally frustrating journey for Konchesky, who made his debut for the club in 1997 aged just 16 years and 93 days.

Since those days, when he became Charlton's youngest ever player, his youthful promise has not always been allowed to develop in the first team but his appearances have grown ever more frequent over the past two seasons.

With several players in the England Under-21 squad - Konchesky plays alongside club team-mates Luke Young and Scott Parker - and arguably the country's best young manager in Curbishley, the future looks bright for the ideally-matched Charlton and Konchesky.


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