Simpson: It's Been a Crazy Week!
Friday, 6th Mar 2020 13:51
Crazy – the apt word of choice for teenager Tyreece Simpson as he reflects on a hectic few days that saw him sign his first professional contract and then make his league debut at Blackpool.
Not only that, he also made his home league debut in the narrow midweek defeat by Fleetwood and is now keen to sample more first-team action as Paul Lambert’s men prepare to face League One leaders Coventry at Portman Road tomorrow.
Simpson, who also had his 18th birthday on February 7th, faced his first press conference at the Playford Road training ground and grinned: “It’s been a crazy week – signing my first professional contract, making my debut when I came on against Blackpool and then my home debut earlier in the week. It’s been crazy but I’m delighted for the opportunity.
“I’m delighted for me and my family to sign my first professional contract and it was a big moment to make my league debut for the club so soon after that.
“This is a good club for me to be learning my trade and when the gaffer told me Ipswich was a club where I would get a chance, if I was doing well enough, he certainly kept his word.
“He has made some nice comments about me and so have some of the senior players, so it’s all good to help my confidence as I look to progress further in my career. I want to stick around the first team for the last few games of the season and get as many minutes as possible.
“But even if I’m not playing, just training alongside so many experienced guys is going to be good for me. I was working on finishing the other day in training with Kayden Jackson, for example, and I learned a lot from him.”
Simpson’s route to stardom has been anything but orthodox. While some of his young colleagues have been part of the club’s academy set-up since their primary school days, he owes his opportunity to ex-Town favourite Mark Kennedy, who was appointed coach of the club’s U21 side after his playing career ended.
Kennedy, a Republic of Ireland international now managing League Two outfit Macclesfield Town, later moved to Manchester City’s academy and it was during his time at the Etihad that he spotted Simpson’s potential and recommended him to Town.
Simpson takes up the story: “I was at Langley School in Norfolk and we had a PlayStation Cup game that was played at Derby County’s stadium. I was scouted by Manchester City then I went to other clubs, like Southampton.
“I was a big Manchester City fan as a kid and Mark Kennedy was at the club when I had my trial. He said he had worked at Ipswich and told me they would be interested in me. He and said there was an opportunity waiting for me if I got myself down there, so he arranged for me to go on trial and after the trial I was asked to sign.”
“Back then I was playing Sunday league football, nothing really serious, and I was also playing for a team in Dereham but there’s no way it was up to the standard of the academy here.”
Simpson was born in Ipswich but later moved across the border to Gorleston, although he subsequently returned to Suffolk to live in Stowmarket, where he still resides.
He signed a two-year scholarship and his first senior opportunity came back in September last year when he was a second-half substitute in the Leasing.com Trophy group stage clash with the Tottenham U23s, which Town won 2-1.
Of course, now that he has come off the bench three times for manager Lambert, the powerfully-built youngster is keen for more senior action and added: “This is a huge opportunity for me to show what I can do. I want to help the team in whatever way I can, whether it be scoring goals or being that player they need up the field to keep possession of the ball.
“I’d love to play some more first team football in the nine games we have left and maybe even get a start if I can. I still think the play-offs are possible and I’d like to play a part in helping us to qualify.
“I’ve got the confidence and the belief that we can do it. We can’t change the disappointing results we have had in recent weeks. All we can do is focus on what’s coming and face it together.”
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