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Burns: Cardiff Release Was Devastating
Friday, 1st Sep 2023 17:36

Wes Burns will tomorrow line-up against boyhood favourites Cardiff, the club that shattered his dream to play for them and reduced him to tears when they released him as a youngster.

Burns, born and raised in the Welsh capital, remembered: “They were the first club I followed. I used to go with my granddad and my brother, so there’s a little bit of history in this game for me.

“It goes all the way back to the start of my love for football, which means there’s a little bit more in it for me, plus I used to play for them at academy level.

“I was let go by them when I was 15 before the scholarship time. To be fair, it was pretty devastating for me. They told me they were not going to give me a scholarship and I remember coming out of the meeting heartbroken and crying.

“My dad said ‘You know what, screw them’ and we went straight over to Bristol. Within a week I was training with Bristol Rovers and Bristol City, who took me on. The rest is history, as they say. But it’s big in our family, the whole Cardiff thing.

“My brother has had a season ticket since he was 12 and he’s 31 now. I think we were there for the last game at Ninian Park, although I was obviously younger then and I don’t remember too much about it.

“My brother is actually coming to the game tomorrow and he’s been saying ‘I hope it’s a draw’. He wants me to do well but if I score a hat-trick he wants it to be 4-3 to Cardiff!”

Burns is also looking forward to coming up against his Welsh international colleague, Aaron Ramsey, who at 32 has returned to his roots, captaining the Bluebirds in the twilight of a career that has seen him also represent Arsenal and Juventus, as well as winning 82 senior caps for his country.

“He’s had an unbelievable career,” said Burns, who has four caps to his name. “You don’t go and play for the teams he has played for without being an exceptional footballer.

“We had team analysis this morning and we’ve obviously highlighted Aaron as one of the most dangerous players in their team. If you give him time and space, he will hurt you because that’s just the type of player he is. He has that quality.”

Burns also had praise for the Town fans, adding; “I think I’ve said it loads and loads of times – the fans have been brilliant since my first day, basically, and from when the new owners came in, as well as all the signings and then the manager and his coaching staff.

“They have bought into this new era for the club, the boys from America, Mark Ashton, all of that and basically the rebuild of Ipswich Town.

“There’s also our off-the-field connection with the fans and the local community through the Foundation. Everyone is buying into that massively and it’s a huge part of what we are doing and what we believe in. With our recruitment, if you don’t buy into everything the club is doing and what is happening at the club, you don’t come here, basically.”

Fellow countryman Lee Evans was also in his thoughts after Tuesday’s penalty shootout win at Reading in the Carabao Cup, a game that ended 2-2 before being decided from the spot to set up a third-round clash with Premier League outfit Wolves.

A major highlight of Town’s display at the Madejski Stadium was Evans’s defence-splitting pass from his own half that paved the way for Freddie Ladapo to score his first goal of the season and the Blues’ second of the night.

Burns laughed: “We’ve been battering him all week, basically, saying that every time he passes forward, we get a goal. Hopefully, he starts passing forward a bit more.

“Lee’s got that in his locker – he can pass a ball brilliantly – and his range is one of the best in the squad, so it was no surprise to see him finding passes like that.

“It’s good for all the attacking players to get off the mark as quickly as possible in the new season. Hirsty’s done it, Chappers has done it, Freddie now, Jacko and Broady are also up and running, so it’s great for our attacking line to be among the goals.”

When the subject turned to deadline day and the club’s final transfer activity until the window reopens in January, Burns welcomed on board Tottenham striker Dane Scarlett, who has arrived on a season-long loan after signing a new four-year contract at his parent club.

Burns added: “To be fair, Dane only trained with us briefly this morning, so we haven’t seen too much of him yet. Skip [Sam Morsy] gave him a little welcome tackle this morning and I think he’ll adapt to training very well. As soon as Skip went in with his tackle, we were all saying ‘Welcome to Ipswich!’.

“He’s going to fit in brilliantly. He’s already friends with Omari [Hutchinson] from before, plus a couple of the other lads, so he’s settled in fine and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can produce for us.”

But deadline day has also seen the departure of winger Kyle Edwards, who followed Greg Leigh to Oxford United. While Leigh has signed permanently for a team managed by ex-Town academy coach Liam Manning, the former West Brom winger has agreed a season-long loan deal.

Burns said: “It’s hard not to love Kyle to be honest when you see him every day with a big smile on his face, dancing around, laughing and joking.

“Of course, we will miss him, but football is about playing games and he wasn’t getting the minutes he wanted while he was here.

“We wish him all the best at Oxford and we will be keeping in touch with him. It’s one of those things – he needs to go and play football – and at this stage of his career he needs it to be regularly.”

Asked what it is like to be a player on the last day of a transfer window, Burns added: “I wouldn’t say we are relieved when it’s over, because we’re an ambitious club looking to sign top players and we know that anyone coming in is going to fit in perfectly here.

“The recruitment is so methodical but it’s football and lads will come and go, so we just have to get on with it. Even if it’s somebody coming in who might take your spot, you still have to carry on.”

This week has seen defender Cameron Burgess earn his first senior call-up by Australia, who will face Mexico in a friendly in the USA. Although he was born in Aberdeen and emigrated down under when was 11, he has represented Scotland at U18 and U19 level, later winning Aussie honours with the U20 and U23 sides, and is now on the brink of senior cap number one.

Also, skipper Sam Morsy will have a chance to add to the seven Egyptian caps he has already won when he joins up with them for friendly clashes against both Ethiopia and Tunisia.

Burns, who heads off for international duty with Welsh colleague Nathan Broadhead after tomorrow’s game against Cardiff, said: “A lot of the ground work was done last year. It’s no more than they deserve and I can’t speak highly enough of both Skip and Burge, to be honest. They both deserve their chance to show what they can do on the international stage.

“It’s important for me and Broady as well. I wasn’t involved in the last camp but I spoke to Broady and the results weren’t great for us against Armenia and Turkey.

“It has put a lot of pressure on us this time round and we have some very big games to come, a friendly against South Korea and then a Euro 2004 qualifier in Latvia.

“It’s always good to be recognised at international level. For me and Broady it’s brilliant and I’m buzzing for both of us. We were in the squad last season, which just goes to show the quality of football we were playing here at Ipswich in League One.

“I think people underestimate that because if you look at a lot of the other international sides, they tend not to consider anyone playing below the Championship or even the Premier League.”

Photo: TWTD

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BurleysGloryDays added 17:46 - Sep 1
Time to show them what they missed out on!

itfckenty added 18:01 - Sep 1
Well burnsy boy. You know what to do.

Lukeybluey added 18:18 - Sep 1
Go get yourself a hatrick lad.

westernblue added 19:04 - Sep 1
Well (and I freely admit - it’s complicated - that my second club is Swansea City) I think Wes dodged a bullet by not making it at Cardiff City. As for the report, it’s ok in the main, but Wes was raised not in Cardiff but the Vale of Glamorgan (near St Athan) and he was schooled in Barry. That he supported Cardiff City can be put down to youthful indiscretion. We’ve all been there, in one way or another. I still love him, and hope that he plays a blinder tomorrow. Go, Wes!

TrumptonBlue added 23:33 - Sep 1
That last game at Ninian Park was a 3-0 defeat against us, wasn’t it?

Ebantiass added 09:53 - Sep 2
Nice read, lets just hope Wes starts to show what he has as i for one think he has not been up to his normal level of late.

WE need to get back on the winning trail but Cardiff are no mugs.

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