Big day for Chris

A NERVOUS but excited Chris Casement is hoping he can make his mum and dad's weekend even more special today by making his debut for Ipswich Town.

By Derek Davis

A NERVOUS but excited Chris Casement is hoping he can make his mum and dad's weekend even more special today by making his debut for Ipswich Town.

With St Patrick's Day and sister Rachel's birthday also being celebrated it promises be a memorable few days for the Irish family.

The 18-year-old Academy graduate makes his first appearance in the senior squad as cover for the suspended Richard Naylor who starts a two-match ban after his controversial sending off at Preston, and Scott Barron who has a slight hamstring problem.


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Casement said: “My mum and dad are over for the weekend so this will be a surprise and bonus for them.

“They were coming over anyway but for me to be involved at Palace will make it even more special

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“It was also my sister Rachel's 16th his week so this will be an extra present for her too.

“It is a big thrill for me, especially against Crystal Palace who are a great club managed by a top Northern Ireland former striker in Iain Dowie.”

The Ulsterman's progress in the Blues reserves and his impressive displays for Northern Ireland had already caught the eye and he was recently awarded a two-year contract at Portman Road.

Elevation to the first team squad was only a matter of time but has still come as a pleasant surprise for the centre half who has recently been impressing as right back as well.

Casement said: “I was just delighted to get my contract signed and now to get in the first team squad is brilliant.

“If I don't play then I won't get downhearted about it, it is great just to be involved. I will crack on in the reserves and keep playing as best I can.

“I played at right back for Northern Ireland against Switzerland and I did alright and it went okay for me in the reserves.

“It is good to be able to give the manager options if you can play across the back.”

Casement was clearly being earmarked as a rising star when he was included on the pre-season tour to Hungary last summer, along with the emerging Owen Garvan who has already made rapid progress.

As a member of the FA Youth Cup winning side, casement ahs already tasted success at Ipswich but feels he is still developing.

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