Garvan's form an open secret

THE dilemma for a good food writer is when you have found an exceptional restaurant you want to rave about it but know that the exposure could ruin it for yourself, or make it impossible to book a table.

By Derek Davis

THE dilemma for a good food writer is when you have found an exceptional restaurant you want to rave about it but know that the exposure could ruin it for yourself, or make it impossible to book a table.

So it is understandable than when Joe Royle is asked about Owen Garvan he smiles and whispers: “Yeah, he's doing well - but keep it to yourself.”

Talk of him leaving for the Premiership in January is premature, and links with West Ham are without foundation, but the unpalatable truth is Ipswich are a selling club and Garvan is a wonderful talent.


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At the same time the 17-year-old Irish midfielder has only played 10 senior games, his man-of-the-match performance at Burnley shows how well he is already coping.

Royle recognises the talent but warns about him being pushed too far too early.

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He said: “Owen is more than holding his own in the team at the moment but he is young and will get tired. That is why he will miss games from time to time.”

The former Oldham, Everton and Manchester City boss has brought through hundreds of highly talented players but declines to compare Garvan with any one else.

Royle said: “It is hard to gauge him next to anyone who has come through in the Premiership but Owen has made a very good start in the Championship.

“He is a very confident young man with strong views of the game and is not afraid to share them with other players.

“He is very serious about the game and is determined to be a good player.” Garvan is not the only young talent that is getting a chance to shine at Portman Road, with 17-year-old Danny Haynes making two substitute appearances in four days. But Royle is well aware that it is easier to bring your prodigies through in a winning side, and not too many at once.

Royle said: “We have Danny and Owen, Jamie Peters, Dean McDonald and remember Dean Bowditch is still young. It is great that they are gaining experience but at the same time we don't want them getting discouraged. They will learn from the experiences but we don't want to kill them with over-exposure.”

Another club who have had to survive by selling youngsters is Saturday's visitors Crewe Alexandra. Royle also believes they have had to adapt on the pitch too if they want to ensure Championship football.

He said: “I'm a big admirer of Dario Gradi and Crewe. They have gone a bit more direct recently, rather than the slow build-up they used to play but they will still be a decent footballing side to play.”

Town have no more injury worries and striker Nicky Forster is expected to at least be on the bench after his six-week lay off with a knee problem.

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