‘There are places up for grabs’ - Young striker Drinan takes aim at Town first team
- Credit: MatchDay Images Limited
Young striker Aaron Drinan insists the time is now for him to break into the Ipswich Town first team.
The 22-year-old arrived at Portman Road from Cork City amid comparisons to Daryl Murphy in January 2018, but has yet to play a single minute in a competitive game for the first XI.
But, after numerous loan spells in his time at Town, Paul Lambert finally picked him to start the first friendly match of the season at Colchester United on Tuesday - and Drinan promptly took his chance, bagging two goals, one from the spot, and just missing out on a hat-trick in a 4-0 win.
With Town looking set to go with a 4-3-3 system this season, featuring a focal point central striker – a role the bustling, industrial Drinan would be comfortable in – it seems as though the stars could be aligning for him to make his breakthrough.
Drinan, who scored twice in ten games on loan at Scottish second tier side Ayr last season, said: “I’m absolutely buzzing,
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“There’s no better way to start pre-season than to get off the mark as a striker and I thought we won that comfortably. I’m buzzing to get two in the first game.
“My finishing has been good in training and that gives you confidence, but when you have someone like Bish slipping you balls like that it makes finishing a bit easier. I was always going to take the penalty as well.”
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While Drinan’s been something of a forgotten man in his time at Town so far, his ability to finish calmly and hold the ball up could well see him play his way into Lambert’s plans - especially with Carabao Cup and EFL Trophy games to factor in before the league season starts on September 12.
And the Republic of Ireland Under 21 international certainly intends to force his way into the picture.
“I think it’s about time I try and break into the first team,” he said. “I’ve been here two years and not pushed it as much as I would have liked to, so coming back now and feeling good and scoring two goals means I can hopefully keep going and be in the gaffer’s plans going forward.”
Town have just signed a big striker in 6ft 5ins Oli Hawkins, but Drinan added: “I think that pushes me more so I think I probably need to impress him (Lambert) even more than what I’ve been doing, so that brings more healthy competition with Kayden (Jackson) and Nors (James Norwood) already here. There are places up for grabs.”