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Wales Under-21 boss Geraint Williams keeping a close eye on Elliott Hewitt’s progress at Ipswich Town

12:00 11 December 2012

Elliott Hewitt

Elliott Hewitt

Archant

THERE was one man in Ipswich particularly pleased to see Elliott Hewitt make his Blues debut at the weekend.

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Wales Under-21 boss Geraint Williams still has a house in the town and has been keeping close tabs on the progress of the Rhyl-born 18-year-old after he made the move to Portman Road in the summer.

A host of Premier League clubs – including the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea – were tracking the athletic young right-back last season following his rise to prominence in a Macclesfield Town side that were ultimately relegated from League Two.

The need for double hip surgery meant top-level interest dropped off though and former Town boss Paul Jewell was able to get him for just £150,000.

And following a lengthy rehabilitation period, the teenager – who made his Football League debut at the age of 16 and was soon fast-tracked to the Wales Under-21 squad – came off the bench in the 88th minute of Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Millwall.

“He’s a player that is very much on my radar,” said Williams. “I’ve watched the DVDs of his games with our Under-21s when Bryan Flynn was in charge and I was impressed. We’ve had him playing well above his age group for some time because we wanted to test the natural athleticism that he has.

“I was at Playford Road to watch his first game back after his operation, against Swansea’s Under-21s, alongside Mick McCarthy. I think it’s fair to say we were both pleased with what we saw, especially as he had been out for so long.”

He continued: “I’ve spoken to Elliott at the training ground a couple of times now and I’ve been impressed by his attitude. He’s so enthusiastic about the game and just loves playing.

“He’s a young man and it’s important we don’t heap too much expectation on him, but he’s got an awful lot of attributes. He’s really looking forward to proving himself to myself and Mick – and we’re both hopeful he can do that.”

Former Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson said: “We took Elliott on after he was released by Wrexham and could see very quickly that he was a bright prospect. We gave him his debut at 16, but, to be honest, I wanted to play him before that.

“He was tremendous for us during a difficult period and there were a number of Premier League clubs looking to spend some serious money on him before the hip problems.

“In my opinion, Ipswich have got themselves a real bargain. He’s a really grounded, level-headed lad with all the attributes to make it to the very top.”

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6 comments

  • Frank, if PJ was so good why were we the bottom team in the Championship but after a relatively brief spell of MM's management are now 5 points clear of relegation?

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    JOHN BURLS

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Ipswich are just getting him back to fitness Mr. Williams, he needs rest and careful nurturing, do not think it will help him playing in meaningless games, no disrespect.

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    jungle boy

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Frank, the question you need to answer is why, if PJ was such a good manager, were the club bottom of the championship without a home win since march?

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    Tom

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Hey Frank, its a bit early to be hitting the Christmas sherry!!.. you are like the Ying to Steroo's Yang!!

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    Vanmunt

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Frank - PJ was just one of many watching the lad - he didn't exactly unearth this diamond. However because of the serious nature of his injury we were the only team prepared to take a punt on his fitness. Only time will tell how good an investment this signing was ?????????? Hopefully his injury woes are behind him now & we can look forward to playing one of our own at right back ????

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    Old Timer

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Another wonderful Paul Jewell aquisition. When it is ever going to dawn on us that PJ. knew his stuff?

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    FRANK WESTON

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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