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Youngster Gunnar So Focused
Youngster Gunnar So Focused
Wednesday, 2nd May 2012 08:45

Blues boss Paul Jewell says Academy Player of the Year Gunnar Thorsteinsson is if anything too focused on making it as a professional footballer. The 18-year-old Icelander is likely to feature in next season’s new U21 league, an aspect of the EPPP that the Town manager doesn’t particularly welcome.

Thorsteinsson received his gong at last week’s End of Season Dinner but Jewell thought he was far from the youngest looking award winner: “When he went up there on Tuesday I thought Cressy had won the Academy Player of the Year because Cressy looks younger than him!

“He’s done well, he’s a terrific professional. He lives, eats and breathes football. He’s one where you think ‘get a life, you boring bastard!’," he joked.

“I had a word with him because you can get too intense. He wants it so much, he trains hard, he’s got a fantastic attitude.

“The award wasn’t just for playing, it was for being a scholar in general. They have to go to school and it's for the way they are about the place, their manners, so there was the whole package taken into consideration and it’s a credit to him and his family that he’s won it.

“He’s a talented boy, he plays the guitar, he’s good looking, he’s got a lot going for him. If he had a yard of pace he’d be all right!”

Midfielder or defender Thorsteinsson joined the club last summer after coming through the ranks at Icelandic club Grindavik, where his dad Thorsteinn Gunnarsson is the chairman, making two senior appearances in 2009 and becoming their youngest-ever first team player in the process.

His father has been an avid Town fan since childhood and passed his passion for the Blues on to his son.

Despite his success in his first year as a scholar, Jewell says the Icelandic U17 international is not in line for an early elevation to the senior side: “He’s not ready for the first team squad yet.”

Having made a handful of reserve appearances in the ad hoc friendlies the Blues have played this season, Thorsteinsson will hope to be a regular in next season’s new U21 league. Town will enter the competition as a result of committing to Category Two in the EPPP reorganisation of youth football.

Jewell isn’t a big fan believing that if players are good enough they should join the ranks of the first teamers rather than being seen as part of an U21 squad: “It’s like me saying to Byron Lawrence, who’s 16, that he’ll have to go into the development group.

“If they’re ready to go into the first team and play with the first team, they should do that, they develop far better.

“I think what’s going to happen, and this is only my view, is that we’ll end up keeping players for the sake of it.

“I don’t want to just keep players so we meet the criteria for the U21 league. For me, that’s not the right way to do it.

“I think if you’re training with the U21 group at 18 or 19 or 20, I’m not sure it develops you that well, but they’re the rules, so we’ve got to abide by them.”

Jewell doesn’t believe the players will be sufficiently tested in the new U21 league despite the likelihood that clubs will be able to field two or three overage players: “We’re going to be able to test ourselves against the U21s of who? Colchester? Even the Premier League sides, why do we want to play against U21 teams from the Premier League?

“I think if you’ve got young players playing against men, from the Premier League or Colchester, it’s far more beneficial to them than playing on a level playing field.”

Photo: Action Images

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Kesgraveblue57 added 09:05 - May 2
Jewell says this lad too focuse I rest my case

itfc1981 added 09:11 - May 2
He’s one where you think ‘get a life, you boring bastard!’.

Get Jewell out of ITFC.

itfc1981 added 09:15 - May 2
In all seriousness, I like the u21 aspect it will alllow (or rarher force) Jewell to look at our young players in matchs more often.

walberswick added 09:20 - May 2
jewel would love to just have one team to look after. much more time for golf and whatever else he fancies.

lfitchio added 09:22 - May 2
Bit harsh on the kid, telling him to get a life when he is only trying to achieve his ambition and he'd be ok if only he had a yard of pace. May as well said that although you have academy player of year your still not good enough and probably won't be.

stinkiusminkius added 09:24 - May 2
I know pj likes a jokey comment in his press talks but maybe should've opted to keep quiet this time. He should be bugging up this lads attitude, not mocking it.

algarvefan added 09:24 - May 2
Jewell perhaps you could get this lads enthusiasm for the game grafted on to some of the first team players. Whats a way to reward his commitment by calling him a 'boring bastard' and telling him to get a life!!

Jewell you're an idiot.

stinkiusminkius added 09:24 - May 2

newboy added 09:27 - May 2
Well fool jewell still likes to come out and waffle s**t on a regular basis seen this boy play not very good no pace not much technical ability and the only thing in his favour is his size but I guess he had to be academy player of the year given that jewell has already slated Whight they released all of the others and bennett as I understand is still trying to leave the place

Bluetone added 09:28 - May 2
PJ “He’s done well, he’s a terrific professional. He lives, eats and breathes football. He’s one where you think ‘get a life, you boring bastard!’. To a young dedicated player.

Get out of our club Jewell you're a damn disgrace.

ernie added 09:30 - May 2
Jewell oozes professionalism whatever he says- maybe you should stop talking so much you cretin and concentrate on the football

newboy added 09:36 - May 2
I heard he told bennett the same thing and its one of the reasons he is leaving

up_the_town4 added 09:42 - May 2
The boy is the worse footballer in the under 18s team i have been told he is a year older so next year he will actually be a 3rd year not a 2nd year so why has he not been offered pro? Also player of the year but got left out of the youth team please explain that to me? You can have as much drive and enthusiasim in the world but if you havent got the ability it counts for nothing and this boy has no ability iv seen him play midfield and he constantly gives the ball away the pace thing is true iv seen milk turn quicker i went to ipswich v norwich youth game this season and he played left back and the norwich winger was roasting him everythime i actually felt sorry for the lad it was embaressing. Yet another player being "bummed" up just to be knocked back by a deluded manager. JEWELL OUT!!!!!

up_the_town4 added 09:44 - May 2
I ment the youth cup not team

Daleyitfc added 09:48 - May 2
Jewell obviously thinks having no reserve team at all, with no matches to play, is preferably to having an U-21 team with space for some fringe first-teamers to keep themselves match fit.
He's even less intelligent than I thought : and that really IS saying something.

sonian_blue added 09:49 - May 2
He’s one where you think ‘get a life, you boring bastard!’.

Well i think 'get a taxi, you useless bastard!’

depressed added 09:51 - May 2
PJ has harped on all season about the youngsters not playing competitive games so now having introduced this U21 league he slates that off.
As for his comments on Thorstiensson calling him a," boring bastard" well i bet the lads parents are well chuffed.
PJ keep your mouth shut and concentrate on signing the players we need to push for promotion next season or alternatively P#ss Off.

JustSpivvyChops added 09:56 - May 2
And people thought The Sun were on Hodgson's back!!

Do you plebs have to twist everything Jewell says, even joke comments, into something sinister to suit your own agenda?

Try supporting the manager of your club for a change, you boring bastards.

DanLyles added 10:00 - May 2
I normally support PJ, I think he's building something special at town (albeit slowly) but his comments about this kid and Whight last week are rediculous.

Lightningboy added 10:10 - May 2
Wise words there Paul...not.

newboy added 10:12 - May 2
spivyspackchops you have no idea and when he destroys the club completely will you be buying a season ticket do you even have one now . Too many people comment on here who dont go to games do not support and do not put their money where their mouth is. Pj is one big publicity machine for himself and he needs to shut his mouth and get on with the job he is paid to do

BillBlue added 10:17 - May 2
Oh, so where did you hear that then Newboy? COYB

tomisamos added 10:23 - May 2
newboy I managed not to get to a single win home and away last season and I still think I saw better football than we had under Keane when I was able to go every week. It's not far off, we actually pass the ball rather than hoof it, we have players able to score, a team able to snatch points off of the big teams and a bit of flair and unpredictability at last in the likes of Cresswell, JET, Martin and Drury.

As you all criticise his policy with the youth he's turfing out all of the 'has beens' and starting the squad anew. He may just be making lots of comments on the youth because actually now they may have a chance to play. He clearly is a fan of Lawrence and I take these comments and White's as a roundabout way of telling them how close they are, and us.

After all, football is a harsh business, if you are a footballer you need to learn to be criticised and have the correct attitude, if they make it they will suffer worse. I remember people moaning about Jewell's 'harsh' treatment of Martin and Smith earlier this year, yet the two of them came back far better players than they were in the infamous Peterborough drubbing.

I don't mind reading Jewell's comments. I don't always agree for them, although for the record I think a better reserve league would be better than an under21 league and sort of agree with him. I wonder if he actually means it won't help him develop younger players into being good enough for his squad, because he wants to put them in. Not that anyone would think to try and notice that... I get far more bored of the boring rubbish churned out on this forum, if anything.

gypo added 10:35 - May 2
There's people who post on this site who moan all the time where I think,
"get a life,you boring bastards or go and support someone else" I'm not joking.

jas0999 added 10:38 - May 2
When PJ was a appointed, someone on here told me he was an 'arm round the shoulder manager' - I would argue that! deary me PJ; awful man management. Perhaps he is trying to get the sack?!!

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