Garvan out to make a mark

IPSWICH Town's very own Roy Keane has Darryl Knights firmly in his sights.Owen Garvan has been likened to the competitive and classy Manchester United and Republic of Ireland midfielder and is determined to make his own mark for club and country.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town's very own Roy Keane has Darryl Knights firmly in his sights.

Owen Garvan has been likened to the competitive and classy Manchester United and Republic of Ireland midfielder and is determined to make his own mark for club and country.

The 16-year-old Dubliner was a surprise inclusion on the bench in the 1-0 win over Brighton on Saturday, less than a week after Academy team-mate Knights made his senior bow.


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Garvan is now looking to make his own first-team bow and is also relishing the opportunity of competing against England youth international Knights when the two countries' Under-17s clash in the European Championship early next year.

Garvan made his debut for the Town reserves against Watford last September and figured twice more since, but has not ventured beyond the bench since mid-October for Steve McCall's side.

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So, he was taken aback when Blues' boss Joe Royle told him after training on Friday that he would be involved in the first-team squad against Brighton.

“I was delighted to get in but it came as a big shock to me, even though Darryl made his debut last week. I was delighted to get on the sub's bench,” he said. “I was a bit surprised because I have not been playing full games in the reserves but he said I was in and, hopefully, I will get more chances.”

The 6ft midfielder's hopes of getting a game soared when Shefki Kuqi put Town ahead after 22 minutes and, with the prospects of them getting more, and him getting on, it looked promising.

But the call never came, and Garvan appreciates he has to be patient.

He said: “If we had got a couple more goals I might have been thrown on for the last 10 minutes, as he did with Darryl, but unfortunately that didn't happen.

“It was a tight game, and all the while it was 1-0, I didn't think I would get on.”

An Irish international at Under-15, 16 and now 17 level, Garvan was courted by a host of clubs, including Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Celtic but chose Ipswich after visiting Portman Road.

He said: “They always bring players through at this club, as they have shown with Deano (Dean Bowditch), Knightsy and, hopefully, me in the future.”

Just like Knight found last week, Garvan will now go back to reality, and he is included in the second-string squad which travels to Crystal Palace tonight.

He said: “Hopefully, I can start at Palace and keep plugging away in the reserves and Academy games and go from there.”

Garvan and Knight will renew their friendly rivalry at international level early next year.

He added: “The squads for the European Championships are announced in a couple of weeks, so I hope I'm involved, and will be up against Knightsy.”

Shane Supple could also be included in the Irish squad and the group also contains Northern Ireland and Serbia & Montenegro.

Reserve squads

Crystal Palace: Cronin, Banks, Black, Borrowdale, Butterfield, Danze, Fray, Hudson, Shipperley, Torghelle, Soares, Derry, Leigertwood, Lakis, Togwell, Grabban and Hall.

Ipswich Town: Supple, Atay, Richards, Manning, Collins, Sobers, Mitchell, Murray, Counago, Bowditch, Garvan, Knights, Clarke, Craig, Flack and Patten.

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