Steps Up: Todd Kane

In the second of a new series focusing on players developing out on loan, we spoke to full-back Todd Kane who is currently at NEC Nijmegen of the Eredivisie.

The Chelsea Academy graduate has flourished in the Dutch top-flight for a team who were promoted last summer.  Kane has made himself an integral member of a defence which has conceded the third fewest number of goals in the division, starting 19 of NEC’s 22 league games to date.

A home game against league leaders PSV is next up, and as Kane tells the official Chelsea website, it’s another fixture he and his team-mates will be taking in their stride…

First of all Todd, how is it going over there?

It’s really good. I am enjoying the experience. The football is great, exactly the same style I got brought up on at Chelsea. I am getting back to the way I play usually and how everybody knows me which is a good.

Tell us more about the success you and the team have had defensively

I have just played at right-back as one of four defenders and I am able to play my own game. I am getting forward, getting crosses in and having chances to score as well.

So I’m getting forward but defensively I have improved a lot since I have been here. I have to take the responsibilities that come with playing at the back more seriously and I think I have done well with that, alongside my other team-mates. 

 Kane playing for Chelsea Under-21s

What is the communication like between you and your fellow defenders?

At the start of the season I was just speaking English as everyone speaks it over here, but now as time has gone on I am able to speak Dutch when using football talk – things like left, right, turn – so communication is not a problem between us.

And you were recently made vice-captain at the club…

Yes. Brad Jones, the former Liverpool keeper, and I were asked to be captain. We had a chat together with the manager and decided it would better for him to do it.

I would love to have done it but obviously Brad is the more experienced one in the dressing room and I felt people would listen to him more than myself as he’s the older pro. I’m the vice-captain and I feel privileged because it showed I must be doing something right.

What has it been like for you adapting to a different culture?

It has been fine. It’s all about training well, sleeping well, keeping rehydrated. It’s all about football really and that has helped my focus and helped improve me this season and get me back to the way I can play.

There are no distractions which has been good. The boys at Vitesse are only about 20 minutes away so I get the chance to see them quite a bit which has been nice too. (Kane is pictured top with Lewis Baker, currently on loan at Vitesse Arnhem.)

What’s next for you and the club?

The ambitions at the start of the season were to get to 35 points and stay in the league. We have already done that and now we’re pushing for Europe.

We are in fifth position. If we had won last week we would have gone third. We are flying at the moment as a whole club.

We have PSV at home next. We lost 2-1 earlier in the season away and we want to turn that result around on Sunday. It’s nice to play against the big clubs but that’s what I want to do, get to the highest level possible. It’s what football is all about, so I’ll just enjoy the game. 

- Pictures courtesy of N.E.C. Media | Broer van den Boom