Dundee take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the final home game of the 2016/17 Ladbrokes Premiership season and so we take a look at a player who has played for both clubs, current Dundee midfielder James Vincent. Englishman Vincent joined Dundee in the summer of 2016 after signing a pre-contract agreement in March and came to Dens direct from Inverness after becoming a cup winning legend in the Highland capital.
Vincent started his football career at Stockport County, joining them at the age of eight before signing on to their Centre of Excellence in 2005. He made his first team debut as a substitute against Brentford in the last game of the 2007/08 season and in total made 79 appearances, scoring three times before being released by County in 2011 due to the club’s financial issues.
In June 2011 Vincent joined Conference side Kidderminster Harriers where he scored 6 times in 69 appearances before signing for Inverness Caledonian Thistle two years later.
He signed initially on a one year deal and scored on his Thistle debut in the opening game of the season in a 3-0 win over St Mirren and stated that moving to the SPL was a definite step up in his career.
‘Vinnie’ made 27 appearances in his debut Caley season and after a successful first half of the 2013/14 season, signed a contract extension that would keep him at the Caledonian Stadium after interest from other club in the January transfer window.
Fifteen months later Vincent wrote his name into Caley folklore when on May 30th 2015 he came off the bench with 20 minutes to go in the Scottish Cup Final against Falkirk and scored the winning goal in the 2-1 success. All three of Caley’s subs that day are now at Dens Park with Danny Williams and Nick Ross also coming off the bench to pick up winners medals on the greatest day in Inverness’ history.
Winning the cup meant entry into the Europa League but Vincent missed Inverness’s first ever foray into Europe through injury as they crashed out in the qualifying round to Romanians Astra Giurgiu.
Vincent made a scoring return to the side in September when he netted in a 2-0 victory over Hearts and four weeks later scored the winner in a Highland derby with Ross County in Dingwall.
It would turn out to be Vincent’s last season at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium as he would be brought to Dens by Paul Hartley in the summer and would leave Thistle after 5 goals in 69 appearances over three years
Vincent had played for the England C National Team in August 2012 and made his debut for Dundee as a second half substitute in the first game of the 2016/17 season in the Betfred Cup tie at East Fife.
Wearing squad number 4 he started the next three group games against Dumbarton, Peterhead and Forfar Athletic and the first Premiership match of the season in the 3-1 win away at old rivals Ross County but before the end of August picked up an injury that would keep him out the side for two months.
It took Vinnie a little while to find his feet in the side but by December put in a superb shift away at Celtic Park and won the man of the match in the thrilling comeback against Hearts at Dens two days before Christmas.
His next man of the match award came in the 5-1 thrashing of Motherwell at Fir Park in February and considering the attacking flair on show that day, it shows how important he has become in the Dundee midfield.
To date Vincent has made 30 appearances for The Dee and he will be looking forward to his second season at Dens Park next year after facing his old club on Wednesday.