Eight New Scholars for Academy
Tuesday, 19th Apr 2011 11:01
Town have taken on eight new first-year academy scholars who will start full-time at Playford Road in the summer. Recruitment officer Malcolm Moore gave TWTD the lowdown on the players hoping to become Portman Road's next generation of heroes.
He’s a local Ipswich boy from Stoke High School, a central midfielder, and we’re really pleased with his progress this year. Last year he had problems with growth and was in and out with his football, but this year he’s come on and done really well and has progressed into the U18s.
“He’s six foot tall, strong in all departments and we’re very, very pleased that he’s made it. He’s stuck at it and has worked very hard - he comes in and does a bit of additional personal training on Monday evenings quite often.
“Everyone’s delighted for him, he’s a good all-round, promising central midfield player, who has been with us for a long while, coming up through the younger ranks.
He’s a midfielder from Cavan in the Republic of Ireland and played for Cavan Shamrocks over there. He’s been over here on a Transition Year this year [Irish scheme where a final school year is spent with an employer]. He’s a very good, left-footed, quality passer of the ball.
He’s a Republic of Ireland U16 international and since he’s come over he’s learnt a lot about other things in his game apart from passing, such as how to run and chase people down. We’ve got him stronger, fitter and he’s a got a great attitude.
He’s worked very hard and he’s very good on the ball. A good passer, a good range of vision and can make passes other players can’t make. We beat a lot of clubs to get him and we’re really pleased that he’s chosen us.
He comes from the Kettering area. He’s only been with us a couple of years, although we’ve been following him for a long while. He’s a striker, tough, quick, aggressive and has a horrible knack of scoring goals.
He’s got things to learn in his game, like link-up play, movement, stuff like that, but he can score goals. He’s tough and aggressive, has decent pace and loves to play, which they should all do.
He’s a little bit like a young Paul Dickov - he’ll run into people, smack into people. If you were marking him you’d want to kick him! He’d drive you mad.
He makes people smile because of the way he goes about his game. He was a late choice but one which was thoroughly deserved.
He came on as a late sub in the FA Youth Cup game against Peterborough and scored right in the last minute.
He’s a Scottish boy from Edinburgh, who has been with Hutchison Vale. He’s a right-sided or central midfielder. We brought him here this season in a similar vein to Jonathan Leddy to learn.
Sean can run all day long. He’s come down here and we’re just getting him stronger, quicker and improving his quality. But he’s got a fantastic engine, he just runs and runs and runs.
When you first look at him you’re not certain, but the more you see of him, the more you get involved with him, you can see that he’s one of these people who will work very hard for the team and do well.
He’s been coming backwards and forwards here, like Jonathan Leddy. We bring them over to get them up to speed with the other lads because they don’t get in this environment all the time and it’s important for them to be in this environment.
He’s a left-back who is a fantastic athlete, is quicker than he appears and goes past people. He’s learning to be a better defender, but attacking-wise, he’s very, very good, outstanding and a threat down the left-hand side.
He’s played several games for the U18s, comes from Cambridge and he’s got a lot of promise. He’s a very intelligent young man academically too. He probably would have been a A* student at university but he’s chosen football.
He’s multi-talented as well, he was a very good national long jumper. He goes past people, delivers, gets in and scores the odd goal. He can play further forward if wanted, but he’s a left-back mainly.
Jack’s been with us for a long while, he joined us when he was about 10. He’s a fast, direct striker, mainly left-sided, but he’s getting stronger on his right, which is pleasing.
He scores goals, puts people under pressure and with the two Jacks up front as first years, supported by Tommy Winter, we think we’ve got three potentially promising strikers.
Jack works hard at his game, he’s improved his speed, he’s done a lot of private work getting quicker, which is a credit to him, and he’ll be a good addition.
Like Jack Marriott, he puts people under pressure. They’re both tough boys. If you’re playing against them, you’d have to smack them a little bit! He’s a Wales U17 through his parents, but he’s an Essex boy.
He comes from Buncrana in Donegal and has played for Buncrana Hearts, the same club as second-year keeper Conor O’Donnell. He’s an Irish U16 international player as well, a left midfielder, who is very promising. He can also play as a left-sided forward, central midfielder and as with most wide boys can play either side.
It was a late decision from him, but we’re over the moon that he and his family decided to pick us because we’ve always wanted him.
He’s very good on the ball, a strong all-round performer. He scores goals, creates goals and has a great attitude. He was in our U16 team which went to Chelsea and beat them 2-1 recently and they played very, very well.
He’s been with us since he was eight years of age. He’s developed into an intelligent frontman, who can create and score goals. I think a lot of the goals that Jack Simmons and Jack Marriott will score will be because of his quality.
He’s very good on the ball, but not only is he a provider, he’s a scorer as well. He’s got lovely balance, a good player. As well as playing up front, he can play wide or in the hole.
Those eight were at the club along with their families to be inducted into the academy a couple of weeks ago and Malcolm says there could be others joining them at Playford Road come the summer: “We’re still looking and there might be the possibility of one or two additions, but we’re pleased with that eight to go with those that are already here.”
Northern Irish U19 international midfielder Cormac Burke and US U20 keeper Cody Cropper will be pros next year as they finish their scholarships as they will both be a year older than the other second years.
Northern Ireland U21 international striker Caolan Lavery will complete his second year in the early part of next season, his scholarship having been put on hold during his three-month spell out with a knee ligament injury.
Town will look at whether to offer the Canadian-born frontman a professional deal in October. TWTD understands that Leicester City have been keeping a close eye on his situation since the 18-year-old returned to action.
Norwegian defender Nicolay Schrøder’s scholarship has also been put on hold during his spell out with tendinitis, but following surgery the centre-half is getting back to full fitness.
Photo: Action Images
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