Chris glad he chose Town

CHRIS Casement turned down the chance to play in Old Firm matches so he could join Ipswich but the Irishman has no doubt about the importance of the East Anglian rivalry and is determined to skipper the Academy side to victory over the old enemy Norwich City tomorrow.

By Derek Davis

CHRIS Casement turned down the chance to play in Old Firm matches so he could join Ipswich but the Irishman has no doubt about the importance of the East Anglian rivalry and is determined to skipper the Academy side to victory over the old enemy Norwich City tomorrow.

Northern Ireland youth international Casement was being lined up by Glasgow giants Rangers, after he had been spotted as a 13-year-old, but his head was turned by a visit to Suffolk and meeting fellow Ulsterman Jim Magilton.

Casement said: “As soon as I came across I had no doubts that I wanted to be here.


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“Rangers had made me an offer to join them when I was just 13 and I was convinced I would be going there, but as soon as I came here to look around I changed my mind. The coaches, the facilities and the way the first-team players mix with you, it is brilliant.

“Jim Magilton has made me feel so special from the day I walked in and it is typical. Everything about the club is brilliant so I have no regrets about turning down Rangers.”

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The Belfast boy is a staunch blue nose too and for him the clash against the Bhoys doesn't get much bigger, although his side is suffering at the moment after being knocked out of the CIS Cup by Celtic.

Casement said: “In Belfast the biggest derby for us is Rangers against Celtic. I'm a Rangers boy and obviously Jim is a Celtic lad so there is plenty of banter. He has certainly mentioned the midweek cup match a few times to me.”

As a regular in the Town reserves Casement is used to the plush Portman Road pitch but admits he relishes the large crowds, as in the FA Youth Cup final, and hopes another large Blues support will be backing them against City tomorrow.

He said: “For a start it is easier to get up for the game.

“I'm up for every game but the atmosphere will bring an extra edge to us all.

“It is always great playing on the Portman Road pitch.

“I played against Norwich last year and it may have been lower-key but it was still a derby match and we were very keen to win.

“We want to please the fans, especially at home.”

Casement is knocking on the first-team door after going with them on the pre-season tour to Hungary in July and the 17-year-old is looking to push on in the next year. So he knows a high-profile game can help boost his chances.

He added: “To play well on Saturday is the important thing and then for me it is a case of trying to impress because I know even if the gaffer is not there he will know about every aspect of how we played.

“I'm really looking forward to playing Norwich and getting a result.”

Danny Haynes, Billy Clarke and Edward Upson have also been named in the Blues squad while Icelandic duo Oskar Peturrsson and Bjorn Hermannson will also be on show for Town.

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