Dean's raring to go

JUST thinking about playing in front of 30,000 Blues fans is sending shivers of excitement down the spine of eye-catching winger Dean McDonald, writes Derek Davis.

JUST thinking about playing in front of 30,000 Blues fans is sending shivers of excitement down the spine of eye-catching winger Dean McDonald, writes Derek Davis.

The former Arsenal Academy striker has been thrilling small reserve-game audiences with his mixture of tricky skills and confident attacking play, but he has set his sights on strutting his stuff to a full house at Portman Road.

McDonald told the EADT: “To play in front of 30,000 would be breathtaking, and that is what I'm aiming to do. The ideal scenario for me at the moment would be me on one wing and Darren (Currie) on the other.

“The Ipswich way of playing suits my style. I'm happy here and I get to play the way I enjoy.


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“It has been good working with Dean Bowditch, and we are building a good understanding, and the more we play together the better we will get.

“Some of the players here are among the best I have played with and, hopefully, they will go on to play in the first team, just as I want to do.”

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The EADT revealed a fortnight ago that McDonald had been offered a contract with Town until the end of the season, after impressing while on trial in games at Watford and Coventry and at home against Portsmouth, and most recently, Coventry again.

The 20-year-old has been consulting his family and representatives and could put pen to paper within the next 24 hours.

Getting such a good reception from the supporters has helped make up his mind, coupled with the club's renowned facilities and ability to get the best out of a young player - even if it means switching his position.

McDonald said: “I like the sort of game where I can use my skills and tricks.

“The crowd have been great. They have been encouraging me and applauding me and players need that to give them the confidence to do different skills.

“Although I'm not an out-and-out winger as such I can play there.

“I can play wide or as a forward, basically I will do any job the manager wants me to do. My main position is as a striker but the Gaffer sees me better used as a winger.

“It is a harder position, as you have to work to get in the box, whereas as a striker you are already there, waiting for the ball. Hopefully, I will score in my next game from the wing.”

After being released by Arsenal last summer, the Lambeth-born 18-year-old, who turns 19 on February 19, had trial games with Boston United, Farnborough and Wycombe Wanderers.

McDonald said: “No other club, for one reason or another, has offered me a contract but here the boss has given me the chance and so, hopefully, I can get something longer at the end of this season.

“Ipswich is a really nice club. The people here are lovely, really supportive and helpful.”

Town fans who have not yet caught a glimpse of this prodigious talent will get the chance to next Monday when his old club Arsenal take on Town Reserves at Portman Road (7pm kick-off).

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