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PAUL EMBLEN FEATURE

This article has been taken from the Charlton Athletic match programme against Wolves, Valley Review.

SURPRISE SELECTION

The most surprised person at our last home match against Nottingham Forest was young striker Paul Emblen who found himself on the substitutes bench for only the second time this season.

Paul went into the dressing room before the game to find out that he was in the starting 14. It came as a complete shock as he had trained in the morning with the reserves totally unaware that he may be needed for action in the afternoon.

He got the shout over more experienced strikers Bradley Allen and Steve Jones and new loan signing Neil Heaney.

"Although I was a bit taken aback it was a pleasant surprise and I obviously hope I can keep my place and possibly start a first team match before the end of the season", said Paul.

After coming on during the second half for the injured John Robinson, Paul acquitted himself well and set up Mark Kinsella for Charlton's fourth goal. His only other first team appearance was in September when he came on as substitute in the only home defeat of the season against Stockport County. Paul's selection was a reward for some excellent displays in the reserves recently and also because of his versatility of being able to play in midfield and up front.

"Although most people consider me to be a striker I am more used to playing in midfield at the moment. I don't mind either position but you see more of the ball in midfield."

Paul has been a regular member of the successful reserve team and he enjoys playing for them.

"They are doing really well and winning games and there is a great team spirit among the lads whoever plays", he said.

After joining the club from Tonbridge Angels in the summer Paul got some early games for Charlton reserves before joining Brighton, then managed by former Charlton player Steve Gritt, on three months loan.

"It was a great experience and something I would not have missed. It gave me a chance to play regular league football and really helped my confidence. In some ways I am sorry it had to end but if I can get into Charlton's first team it will have been worth it."

Whilst at Brighton Paul scored a hat trick against Colchester in a 4-4 draw after they had been three goals down. "It was an amazing match and a great thrill to score three goals and keep the matchball" he said. If he is involved tonight Paul, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Friday, will be up against his brother Neil, who has just returned to Wolves after a spell with Crystal Palace.

"We have never played against each other in a competitive match, only in a friendly so it will be an unusual experience if it happens", said Paul.

The Emblen family are likely to be at tonight's game in force. Dad, Phil is a former Tonbridge manager and has been a well known figure in Kent football for many years. It will certainly be a proud night for him if his two sons are out on the field together in opposition. A case of split loyalties!

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