By Stuart Watson
Thursday, December 13, 2012
TEENAGE defender Tyrone Mings has hit back at his doubters after swapping life as a mortgage broker for that of a professional football at Ipswich Town.
The 19-year-old was released by Southampton at the age of 15 and has spent the last four years playing in non-league for Yate Town and Chippenham Town.
His team mate Toby Osman – son of Ipswich Under-18 coach Russell – recommended him to the Blues though, he was brought in on trial, impressed in a reserve team game on Monday and has today put pen-to-paper on an 18-month contract.
After training with the Blues squad for the first time this morning, Mings – who could be given the experience of travelling to Leeds United with the rest of the squad on Saturday – tweeted a picture of himself signing the deal with the message: “This is for everyone who laughed when I said I wanted to be a footballer or said I wouldn’t make it.”
Speaking to the official club website, he said: “It’s just been a crazy time really. This time last week I was working as a mortgage broker – something I have been doing for nine months.
“Then I found out at the end of last week that Ipswich wanted me to come in and play in a friendly (a 2-1 defeat to a Nike Academy side at Playford Road on Monday). After the game the manager said he’d like to sign me and here we are. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind.
“There have been a few clubs said to be interested but nothing has materialised until now. This is a life-changing opportunity for me and I’ve got to make sure I take it.”
Mings – whose dad Adie is a former manager of Chippenham and now a scout at Chelsea – has been handed the number 15 shirt. His deal means that Town will face Chippenham in a friendly next year.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy, who this morning revealed it took him just five minutes of watching Mings in action to decide he wanted ton sign him, said: “Tyrone has a pedigree of being at a club with his time at Southampton and through Russell (Osman) and Steve McCall (chief scout), who became aware of him, we brought him here on Monday to have a look at him against the Nike Academy.
“He played at left-back, but can also play centre-half. He’s quick, he’s 6ft 3in, he loves a tackle. He’s only 19 but plays the game like a bloke. He’s a good talker, organises and we’re delighted to have him in.
“He’s going to be in and around the squad pretty quickly if he shows everything he did on Monday. There is loads to work with. We are going to give him an opportunity and it will be great if it works out.”
Mings was at Southampton’s academy between the ages of eight and 15, when he played alongside Arsenal and England’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He then joined Yate Town before moving on to Wiltshire-based Evostik Southern League Premier Division club Chippenham (Step Three of the non-league).