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Six Youngsters Offered Pro Deals
Friday, 26th Feb 2016 11:26

Town have offered youngsters James Blanchfield, George Fowler, Monty Patterson, Chris Smith, Shane McLoughlin and Jacob Marsden professional contracts for next season.

Midfielder Blanchfield (pictured), a second-year scholar, was with Arsenal’s youth set-up before joining the Blues in July 2014, having previously spent time on trial with Manchester United.

Central defender Fowler, also a second-year, who hails from Debenham, has been playing for the Blues’ U18s since he was 14.

New Zealand U20 and U23 international midfielder Patterson joined the club in the summer of 2014. He has spent most of this season out having suffered a serious ankle injury in the U21s but is expected to return to action before the end of the campaign.

Smith, another second-year scholar and a former Kesgrave High School pupil, is a midfielder or central defender who has been with the club since he was eight.

Irish U18 international midfielder McLoughlin is a third-year scholar this season having joined the club in the summer of 2013. He was on the first-team bench for the first time for the FA Cup replay at Portsmouth.

Keeper Marsden, also in his third year as a scholar, has spent much of the last couple of seasons out with a knee injury but returned to match action with the U21s earlier in the campaign.

The Blues have also offered second-year scholar Travis Cole an extension to his time with the club having been hampered by injury.

As reported yesterday, striker Sam Ford has not been offered a deal and is set to join West Ham where he has impressed on trial.

Fellow frontman Nick Ingram, who is currently on loan at Bury Town, is also amongst those not to have been offered terms.

“I was unfortunately let go by Ipswich Town on Friday,” the 18-year-old confirmed to the Bury Free Press.

“I’ll have a sit down and talk with my father to look at my options. My plan is to stay here for the rest of the season."

Photo: Action Images

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itfcjoe added 11:39 - Feb 26
Well done to all the boys offered deals to stay at the club - well deserved

hodgie1989 added 12:07 - Feb 26
This is obviously great news but the news every town fan is waiting to see is the Tommy Smith along with Luke Hyam have signed new deals

TR11BLU added 12:19 - Feb 26
Great news, lets hope Mick moves along soon and we may get to see them in the first team sometime in the future.

bluesince84 added 16:57 - Feb 26
Not that any of them will ever see the first team. Why blood promising youngsters when you can get other teams rejects after a transfer window. Doesn't matter . The brilliant football they are trained to play , and it is brilliant, will be trained out of them by the time they hit a bench of the first team . Play football on the ground at your peril ....

alfromcol added 20:59 - Feb 26
bluesince84 agreed no chance for young players with the present management.

muccletonjoe added 07:31 - Feb 27
Pleased to see monty is there. Well done itfc

PortmanTerrorist added 09:22 - Feb 27
Some negative reactions to some early comments. Objectively that seems harsh.

Well done indeed to the boys who have won contracts, but we are back to asking where the Club is headed and style of play.

Are we keeping the kids who fit our current style, are we rejecting the fancy-dans (there's an old term!).

The answer is i and suspect most have no clue. We played virtually no football on Tuesday, nor did we attempt to. The players we have are generally grafters and with as liited skill as any Club in the Championship.

And yet, we are the Club who have brought through Teddy Bishop. Is that an anomaly. Is he so good as to have been allowed to be the exception to the rule ? Bottom line is we have no clue. Club refuses to provide clarity on transfer policy, on our goals as a Club etc etc. As I have said before, if we have no intention of genuinely targeting Premier League football then just tell us. I for one can live with that. We can then stop fielding some really quite poor journeymen and blood some youngsters without the pressure of maybe getting lucky and sneaking into the play-offs again.

JustSpivvyChops added 10:24 - Feb 27
Well done lads..............no idea if we'll ever see them in a 1st team squad of course.

Is it just me worried about a list of serious long term injuries at such an early age?

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