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McKenna: Great Experience For Louie Despite Lack of Games
Thursday, 6th Jan 2022 14:45

Town manager Kieran McKenna says departed loanee Louie Barry has had a really good experience during his half-season with the Blues, despite rarely featuring for the first team.

Barry, 18, was recalled from his season-long spell by parent club Aston Villa on Monday having made just four starts, only one in the league, and two sub appearances having signed on loan at Portman Road in August.

Nevertheless, McKenna says the England U18 international forward enjoyed his time at Town.

“I said in one of my previous interviews I knew Louie from a young player, seeing him growing up and I knew what a talent he was, and obviously seeing him for Aston Villa as well over the last year or so,” he said.

“I knew about his talent coming in and it was just something that we looked at with the squad and had a conversation with Louie.

“He had an injury issue when I came in and had some illness issues as well, so he’s missed some football, he hasn’t played as many minutes as he would have hoped, but I really feel, and he also felt speaking to him, that he has had a really good experience overall.

“I think the first loan move is often about all of the things around playing minutes. It’s about living away from home, it’s about going into a new dressing room, training with men, playing against men and being around that environment where it’s three points, where three points matter and the result is very, very, very important to the support and the fanbase; it means the world to people.

“I think the first loan move is often very much about that. Obviously playing minutes is a bonus and is a big part of that, and Louie hasn’t played as much as he would have wanted for different reasons.

“So we both came to an agreement, speaking to him, that he’s had a great experience, he’s very grateful to the club for giving him the opportunity, he feels like he’s learnt and improved a lot, and he is at a stage now where he wants to play regular minutes and get regular starts and go somewhere where he feels like he’s got a really good chance to play more regularly in the first XI.

“With the size of the squad and the options that we have at the moment, we felt like that was probably going to be difficult for him in the short term.

“We wish him well, the players wish him well and obviously, I didn’t get a chance to work with him for very long, but I can see a lovely kid and a really bright boy, and I’m sure he’ll go on and have a good career in the game and hopefully this experience will have stood him in good stead.”

League Two Swindon Town are reportedly keen on taking Barry on loan for the second half of the season.

Photo: Matchday Images

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JewellintheTown added 16:12 - Jan 6
Aw, glad he enjoyed himself. The large amount of money & not having to play much football for it might have helped soften the departure too.
Tough life, but wish him well.

Cloddyseedbed added 17:06 - Jan 6
I'm sure the £156,000/year softens the blow for an 18 year old. Who wanted him, Cook or Ashton, which room did he go in as we haven't got a recruitment room?!! Too many players were signed in similar positions. Felt sorry for him but he wasn't as good as others at the club.

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