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Gill: Great Opportunity for Young Players
Monday, 7th Oct 2019 15:27

Blues first-team coach Matt Gill believes the Trophy is a great opportunity for young players to get experience of the first-team environment.

Forward Armando Dobra was the star of Town’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham’s U21s in the Blues’ first group game, while midfielder Idris El Mizouni was a starter and striker Tyreece Simpson made his debut from the bench. Another young player, central defender Corrie Ndaba, could be in line to make his debut against Gillingham at Portman Road on Tuesday.

“Like I said when we played the Spurs U21s, about how it works for the cat one academies, I think it’s a great opportunity to give appearances to young players as well,” Gill said.

“From my development background, I think it’s brilliant for them to be involved in the matchday squad as part of their development and there might be one or two in tomorrow.”

Gill confirmed that Dobra, 18, will be available before he goes away with the Albanian U19s squad for a friendly against Poland.

“He is for tomorrow and then he’ll go away after the game, which is good again, having an opportunity to be in a first-team environment,” he said.

Dobra assisted both Jordan Roberts’s goals against the Spurs youngsters and Gill was pleased to see him grasp that chance with both hands, having scored his first senior goal on his debut in the Carabao Cup defeat at Luton in August.

“Obviously with his assists, and his goal at Luton he did,” Gill added. “He’s another one that’s worked fantastically well, Idris has obviously done great.

“it's a real good opportunity for the young lads to be involved in the first-team matchday squad and another step on their development pathway.”

Also involved and not going away on international duty during this break is Tunisian international El Mizouni, 19.

“Idris is here, Idris is involved, which is great,” Gill said. “He’s probably been a little bit unlucky not to be have had more minutes. He had a fantastic pre-season and has continued that training with us in the early part of the season, so he’ll be involved.”

Speaking at the end of last season, manager Paul Lambert said he was weighing-up whether to give Ndaba his debut but the Irish U21 call-up is still to make his senior bow.

“He’ll be in the matchday squad for tomorrow,’ Gill continued. “Corrie came with us to Germany in pre-season, he’s gone back to the U23s and has played a few U23s games but he’ll be involved tomorrow.”

Tyreece Simpson, 17, was a new name to many fans when he made his debut as a sub against Tottenham’s youngsters and the former Norfolk schoolboy is likely to play some part again on Tuesday.

“I’ve known Tyreece a long time, I used to coach in the school that he went to over in Langley.

“He’s a great kid, has worked really hard at his game and in the last six months he’s really progressed, so it’ll be another good opportunity for him to be around a first-team environment for the matchday.”

Prior to joining the Town academy Simpson was part of the Langley School rugby union team which won U18 Schools Vase at Twickenham in March 2018.

“He’s a very good rugby player, so hopefully he’s taken a bit of that into his football,” Gill added. “He’s a strong boy. Obviously, physically he’s a great specimen.

“He’s worked really hard at his game, some of the technical stuff he’s worked hard at with the help of [U23s coaches] Hoggy [Chris Hogg] and Nashy [Gerard Nash] and all the other coaches, [U18s manager] Adem [Atay]. I think a lot of work’s gone into him and he’s starting to see the benefits of it.”

Gill says he first met Simpson during his time at Norwich City’s academy: “When I was working for Norwich we had a day release at Langley so we’d go there to coach and I think he would have been 14 or 15. I was taking the U15s at that point. I didn’t coach him, but I saw him around.

“He’s a lovely lad as well. I think that’s vital that the lads have got to be good lads that have really got want to work at their games and want to progress, not get too ahead of themselves.

“After his debut last time, he’s just remained the same, he’s not bounced around the training ground thinking he’s arrived, he’s still working at his game day in, day out, which is vital.”

Photos: TWTD/Werner Scholz

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