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Needham Market Youngster Joins Blues
Tuesday, 13th Aug 2013 18:09

Trialist George Clarke is joining the Town academy on a scholarship from Needham Market FC’s youth set-up. Clarke linked up with the Blues academy at the end of last season and has been a regular for the U18s while on trial during pre-season.

striker Clarke, who will come in as a second-year scholar, tweeted his delight at joining the club: “Signed a deal with Ipswich Town, so happy.”

Needham Market’s academy director Andy Gould told the Ryman League Division One North's side's website: “This is great news for George who thoroughly deserves the opportunity he has been presented with, and everyone at the club wishes him every success.”

Clarke, who broke into Needham’s senior side last season, making seven starts and two sub appearances, is the first player from their academy, which was set up two years ago, to be snapped up by a Football League club.

“We worked hard to convince George that Needham Market Football Club was a place where with the right application and hunger, he could go on to fulfil his potential,” Gould continued.

“Today those assurances have been vindicated and it is only right that I place on record the huge part that academy head coach Kevin Horlock has played in bringing about this opportunity.

"Working with the players on a daily basis, he is an inspiration to all those that harbour ambition to play at the highest level, and his input has undoubtedly given George the belief to match a talent that was there for all to see.“

Meanwhile, one-time Blues midfielder Horlock has been named assistant manager of Northern Ireland’s U21s.

Stephen Robinson, their U21 manager, said: “Kevin has been appointed as our full-time assistant manager and will be involved in all upcoming fixtures. He has played at the top level for teams such as Swindon Town, West Ham United, Ipswich Town and Manchester City.

“His success gives the boys something to aspire too, Kevin knows what football for Northern Ireland is all about having played for the team himself and he will bring a vast amount of experience to the role as well as a great number of contacts.

“A major benefit of having Kevin on board is that he is currently based in London, which is a great advantage as the majority of our squad are playing football over in the mainland.”

Former Town manager Jim Magilton is currently Northern Ireland's elite performance director.

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CanadianBlue added 18:34 - Aug 13
Congratulations, George! All the best to you in the Academy, hopefully you'll earn a professional contract in 8 months time!

ManningtreeBlue99 added 18:49 - Aug 13
Was a few years apart from him at East Bergholt High School, great player. Good luck mate

RegencyBlue added 19:04 - Aug 13
I hope the lad makes the most of the opportunity!

TennesseeBlue added 19:12 - Aug 13
Well done lad. What happened to that other lad who was on trial and scored the winner in that friendly?

paulnstar added 22:12 - Aug 13
Tennesseeblue ; he signed for Chelmsford first team

fussysnake added 10:41 - Aug 14
How old is he and what position does he play??

MickMillsTash added 11:12 - Aug 14
Needham Market have an academy? I hope that training still involves doing sit ups and press ups in an inch of mud and then a game under a few subbuteo style floodlights.
No tactics - just being kicked to pieces.

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