Rigino Cicilia: Port Vale's Caribbean striker from Curacao wins over fans in Burslem

Rigino Cicilia thought his third goal for Port Vale in as many home league games was going to be the matchwinner against Oldham on Tuesday night
Rigino Cicilia thought his third goal for Port Vale in as many home league games was going to be the matchwinner against Oldham on Tuesday night

Port Vale boss Bruno Ribeiro says the recent success of Caribbean striker Rigino Cicilia may sow the seeds for some of his other summer signings to become fans' favourites in Burslem too.

The 22-year-old from the Dutch-speaking island of Curacao, has scored in three successive home league games.

"Now, the supporters are very happy with him. Before not.

"But they will take to the other players in time too," the Portuguese manager told BBC Radio Stoke.

"Rigino is a very good player. He has done well. He now has a good chance to start at Shrewsbury on Saturday.

"He works hard but, like the other players that have come in, English football is very difficult and he needs to be given time."

After scoring his first goal for the club in the 2-2 home draw with Oxford United on 22 October, Cicilio, one of 13 mostly foreign summer signings, then netted Vale's equaliser in the 2-1 home win over Fleetwood.

Left on the bench at Charlton on Saturday, the former Roda JC and RKC Waalwijk man was again only a substitute for Tuesday's visit of Oldham.

But Cicilia, loudly christened 'Reggie' by the Vale fans, got his chance just before the hour mark and he had already gone close before he drilled his side ahead from 15 yards.

Vale were undone in the end by a 94th-minute equaliser, but, although further disrupted by a hamstring injury to Anton Forrester, on top of the loss of Jerome Thomas (also hamstring), Ribeiro is all the more determined to win at bottom club Shrewsbury Town this Saturday.

"This has happened now to Forrester three times. I don't know how long he will be out," added Ribeiro. "Maybe two or three months. It is difficult. Jerome Thomas may be one more week and Ben Purkiss is still out.

"But we go for the win at Shrewsbury. We lost two points against Oldham so we need to go and win at Shrewsbury. We will go there looking to win."

Putting Curacao on the map

Curacao, in the southern Caribbean Sea, 40 miles off Venezuela, is still under the rule of the Netherlands.

It is perhaps best known for the bitter orange-flavoured Curacao liqueur named after the island itself.

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