Harry Kane has always had the determination and drive to make it to the very top, according to former Colchester United striker Scott McGleish... who made way for the England captain when he made his professional debut.

Kane made his first-ever league appearance when he replaced ex-U’s favourite McGleish as a second-half substitute in a game at Rochdale while on loan at Leyton Orient from Tottenham Hotspur, in January, 2011.

McGleish, who made nearly 200 league and cup appearances during two separate spells at the U’s, trained closely alongside Kane on a daily basis during the Spurs forward’s four-month spell at Brisbane Road.

And as Kane prepares to lead England into their crucial World Cup quarter-final against Sweden tomorrow, McGleish says the prolific striker was always keen to go the extra mile.

McGleish told the Daily Gazette: “Everything Harry’s done is down to him. We’re a minute part of it but it’s great to see what he’s gone on to achieve.

“His attitude was brilliant – he came in and gave it everything.

“Back then, Harry was a skinny 17-year-old with a great touch with both feet.

“He was not necessarily the strongest back then nor the quickest but he’s certainly gained a few yards of pace since then.

“I think the fact that Harry wasn’t too far from home at Leyton Orient helped him settle a bit.

“A move away for any 17 or 18-year-old can be hard but Tottenham wasn’t too far away and he was still in his home environment, coming to us and he had a bit of a connection with Leyton Orient.

“It was good for him to come away from the under-21 environment at Spurs and play in League One, where results really matter and players and managers are often reliant on them for their careers.

“I was 37, 38 years old at the time and Harry had come in and had been excellent in training.

“But he didn’t come in expecting to play and that’s the good thing about him.

“The manager (Russell Slade) saw something different with him and if you look at the line-ups in the second half of that season, it wasn’t just me and Harry but also Alex Revell interchanging.

“I tried to guide Harry along the way but I wasn’t the only one doing that.

“The likes of Alex Revell and the assistant manager Kevin Nugent did that too but Harry was like a sponge – he wanted to absorb everything.

“He wanted to be out on the training ground at any given opportunity and ask us for extra shooting practice, which Kevin was always happy to put on.”

McGleish recalls the moment Kane came on for his first-ever league appearance at Rochdale, which finished as a 1-1 draw.

In the O’s next game against Sheffield Wednesday, the young loanee was promoted to their starting line-up at McGleish’s expense.

“I remember it being a horrible pitch at Rochdale, which was no real surprise,” said McGleish, who is now player-assistant-manager at Southern League outfit Chesham United and also works for the Professional Footballers Association.

“It was very bobbly, with ankle-deep mud.

“We had a few players on loan from Spurs at the time and they looked at the pitch thinking ‘wow’.

“Harry came on for me in what I think was the 74th minute and we got a 1-1 draw.

“The next game, he started and I was on the bench but it was fair.

“As a striker, you want to play and when you don’t, you’re disappointed but looking back, it was the right thing for the manager to do and I was fine with it.

“I wanted the manager to know that I still wanted to play and that I was fit enough to play a part.

“I had thought about going out on loan but the manager said I would play my part that season and he was true to his word.”

McGleish says he will be watching closely tomorrow when Kane leads England out against Sweden, with the striker currently leading the way in the race for the Golden Boot.

McGleish added: “I saw Harry when he won the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

“He saw me there and said ‘alright Scott’ and we had a chat - his mum and dad were there, too.

“I run a Sunday morning kids team and asked him for a shirt to raffle and he said ‘no problem’ and sent it straight away.

“I asked him to do a similar thing for a children’s cancer charity more recently and instantly, he said ‘yes’.

“That’s the good thing about Harry – that’s his background and he’s still on that level, despite what he’s achieved and the money he’s earning and he’ll still speak to the people he sees.

“It’s a bit different for me, as a Scotland fan!

“But if he lifts the World Cup with England, I’ll look at it with pride because I know him as a person."