Debutant goes back to school

WHILE the Ipswich Town first-team squad will now spend the next few weeks taking a break, sunning themselves in various parts of the world – spare a thought for debutant centre half Aidan Collins.

WHILE the Ipswich Town first-team squad will now spend the next few weeks taking a break, sunning themselves in various parts of the world – spare a thought for debutant centre half Aidan Collins.

The 16-year-old Chelmsford schoolboy hits the books today in preparation for his GCSE exams in a couple of weeks' time.

But Collins is focused on doing one thing at a time. He said: "I will do my exams, then have a couple of weeks off before joining up with the club again."

Collins was introduced as a 74th minute sub a minute after Fabrizio Ravanelli was substituted and immediately slotted into a three at the back alongside Thomas Gaardsoe and Chris Makin. He impressed with his positioning and marking of Izale McLeod. He also made a terrific tackle on Tommy Mooney and showed no sign of nerves.


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Collins said: "The team were playing really well but I wanted to get on just to be involved. It was better than last week's game so I knew I could just go on and enjoy myself and show what I could do, which I did.

"It has been a topsy-turvy season for me. I started playing in school games, then the Under-17s and I was pleased enough just to get in the FA Youth Cup side.

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"From there I have played in the reserves, which I really enjoyed, and I'm lucky enough to have got this first-team game under my belt."

A strapping six-footer, Collins is clearly a top centre-half in the making and took the jump from schoolboy football to a Division One debut in his giant stride. The teenager added: "It is a big step up from the reserves, the game is a lot faster and you have to think quicker. But I have already learned from training with the first team that I can only get better being with them."

Collins was only inducted into Town's Academy 10 days ago but already looks to be another top-quality product. He certainly passed his latest footballing test. Good luck with the exams.

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