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Homegrown players appreciate the support, says Tommy Smith

06:30 30 November 2012

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith


WE will repay your faith.


That’s Tommy Smith’s message to the Ipswich Town fans who have got behind the club’s homegrown players in recent weeks.

Proud of the club’s once great tradition of producing young talent from within the academy, Blues fans have been hurt by the premature departures of the likes of Jordan Rhodes and Liam Trotter – the Ipswich schoolboys both currently enjoying success at Championship rivals Blackburn and Millwall respectively.

And in recent years there has been disgruntlement that academy graduates such as Smith, Luke Hyam and Josh Carson have often been seen as the fall guys whenever a bad run of results has come around.

When Mick McCarthy inherited a side that was bottom of the Championship at the start of the month, he decided the situation required ‘hard-nosed professionals’. However, Smith and Hyam have both forced their way into his side over recent matches with some typically spirited displays.

Former Northgate High School pupil Hyam spoke of his pride after Town fans chanted ‘he’s one of our own’ following his goal in Tuesday night’s impressive 3-1 home win over Nottingham Forest, while Smith says he also feels the love from the Portman Road masses.

“When Luke (Hyam) came on as sub against Peterborough last Saturday the fans gave him a great reception,” said the 22-year-old. “And I think he definitely repaid that faith they showed him the other night.

“We do feel that closeness to the fans as lads who have come through the academy. I came here from New Zealand to sign my scholarship when I was 14, started watching the first team and quickly became a supporter.

“The likes of Luke and myself can sense that the supporters want us to do well and we are desperate to repay that faith.

“It’s great to see the fans so happy after Tuesday’s win because I know how much it means to them.”

Smith’s record under McCarthy consists of two wins and a draw, with the centre-back having been rested for the 6-0 defeat at Leicester due to his midweek trip to China to captain New Zealand in an international friendly.

“I think that may be a bit of a coincidence!” said Smith, when asked about his unbeaten start under the new regime.

“I’m happy with how I’m playing though and, with my next international game not until March, I hope I can cement my place in the side.”



  • Yep, but loyalty is a two way thing. So presumably young homegrown players want our support and loyalty to them but are quite happy and eager to leave the club the first moment more money is offered, like dyer, wright , ambrose, bramble, wickham et al

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    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • I and many others have previously stated how the link between club and community has diminshed in recent years, and my view is that the supporters have been unhappy with the treatment of Hyam in particular, as we know he has always been good enough to be in that team, ever since Keane gave him his chance. The fact that MM has clearly now seen that for himself, in such a short space of time is encouraging, and Smith has been very professional, and deserves, like Luke, to be hugely congratulated for that professionalism, and can only benefit from the fact that MM was a no nonsense centre-half, and learn from him. Please get them both on long term deals asap, and good luck Tommy.

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    Kevin Bailey

    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Kevin, thanks for your comment. If they were loyal to the club, why leave? For career and money ? Fine, and I don't knock them, but it shows those things were more important to them than loyalty. That should be taken into account.

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    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Just had a thought nick name for Mick Mcarthy MM rather dull so how about M squared ????? Come on you blues ready for another great performance tomorrow.

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    Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Tom, Dyer and Wright were very loyal, and both went to much bigger clubs. Ambrose was sold for a silly amount by the administrator, and Bramble was sold for £5M and Wickham for £12M, each too good to turn down. Frankly, I couldn't disagree with you more, as all of the players you mention were loyal in every way.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Bailey

    Friday, November 30, 2012

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