Danny does contract chances no harm

DANNY Haynes did his chances of securing a professional contract at Portman Road no harm with a last-gasp equaliser on his senior home debut.The 17-year-old is hoping for a senior deal within the next month, as he turns 18 in early January, and his goal to secure the Blues a point against QPR might have virtually sealed a new contract.

By Derek Davis

DANNY Haynes did his chances of securing a professional contract at Portman Road no harm with a last-gasp equaliser on his senior home debut.

The 17-year-old is hoping for a senior deal within the next month, as he turns 18 in early January, and his goal to secure the Blues a point against QPR might have virtually sealed a new contract.

Haynes, who joined the Blues Academy after being released by Charlton Athletic, last night said: “Getting a new contract, or not, will all be sorted out after Christmas so, at the moment, all I'm focusing on is carrying on doing as I'm doing and trying to stay in the first-team squad.”

After making his senior bow at Leeds in September, followed by a run-out at Burnley, Saturday was a welcome return for the youngster, who is learning about the highs and lows.

Along with fellow 17-year-old Billy Clarke, who made his full debut for the Blues, Haynes expects to be back in the reserves on Wednesday when they travel south to play Portsmouth.

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He said: “It was a good experience being in the squad again, but I'm still young so I have to keep my feet on the ground and keep learning.”

Haynes went on as an 82nd minute substitute with Town trailing 2-1 and, as the game ticked into time added on, he met a perfectly-flighted ball by Jim Magilton to head past Simon Royce, leaving the Academy star too excited to sleep.

Haynes said: “I was buzzing all day and all night, it is a brilliant feeling. To come on in my home debut and score such an important goal for the team to get a point is really a dream come true - unbelievable.”

Haynes can describe the goal in the minutest of details and paid tribute to the veteran Irishman's contribution.

He said: “I made the run into the box because I knew that Jim had the quality to put the ball into the right place.

“He did just that and it was a great ball and I met it just right. It was an amazing feeling to see it go in and I just went off celebrating. I had no idea what to do, it just all came naturally.”

Haynes has enjoyed some mixed fortunes in front of goal this season. He netted twice against Spurs for the Under-18s at Portman Road and won a penalty which Liam Craig converted to put Town 3-0 up by half-time, but the game was abandoned due to torrential rain.

He netted again on Monday in the reserve's 3-0 win over Norwich City, but also scorned a couple of opportunities.

Haynes added: “I missed with my head against Norwich, so this makes up for that.”

Town manager Joe Royle praised Haynes' contribution and was grateful to him for snatching the point.

He said: “Bryan Klug, the Academy director, calls him a bottle of pop. You open the top and you don't know what is going to happen next. He came on, almost gave away a goal, might have won a penalty and scored a goal. He is only 17 and has immense pace and strength and got in their for the header.”

Young striker Darryl Knights was today hobbling on crutches after being injured during the Blues' Under 18s 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.

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