Garvan set for full debut
A COUPLE of dreams will come true tonight when Ipswich Town play their first-ever game in Hungary.Ujpest TE manager Geza Meszoly gets his wish to play the Blues while Owen Garvan makes his full debut for Town's first team.
By Derek Davis
A COUPLE of dreams will come true tonight when Ipswich Town play their first-ever game in Hungary.
Ujpest TE manager Geza Meszoly gets his wish to play the Blues while Owen Garvan makes his full debut for Town's first team.
Young Irish midfielder Garvan has pushed himself to the forefront and earned himself a starting place in the Blues first team who take on Hungarian side Ujpest TE tonight.
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After shining in Ipswich's FA Youth Cup-winning side and the reserves last season, the 17-year-old has continued to impress with the senior side during pre-season and with Jimmy Juan injured, Garvan has a chance to stake a strong claim for a regular place.
Town assistant manger Willie Donachie, who is taking charge of the team in Budapest while Joe Royle continues to recover after having 47 staples taken out of a knee following surgery, is confident Garvan will handle the responsibility.
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The Scot said: “You never really know for sure until he is exposed to the higher level but Owen seems to handle every situation thrown at him. He has earned this place starting in the senior side and is there by right.”
The young Republic of Ireland international has impeccable football genes with his uncle Mick Martin the former Manchester United and Newcastle United star and grandfather Con Martin was also a full Irish international and played for Aston Villa.
Donachie intends fielding a team as close as possible to the side that will line-up against Cardiff on Saturday, August 6 and for the full 90 minutes.
He said: “It is now time to get as close to full competitive conditions as possible. The team will be as strong as we can be and most will play the whole game. Rangers was a good test but we need to move up a level again.
“Ujpest are a good Hungarian side who will be stiff competition.”
Dean Bowditch suffered an ankle injury in training and will be checked again this morning but is expected to be on the bench.
Juan failed a late fitness test on a bruised foot and along with Kevin Horlock, who suffered a dead leg on Tuesday against Rangers, it was deemed they should not travel.
Striker Nicky Forster met up with the squad in the team hotel on St Margaret's Island on the River Danube in the Hungarian capital, late last night after locking his keys, and passport, in his car and so missing the scheduled flight.
Ujpest manager Meszoly, who is rated one of the top up-and-coming managers in Hungary, is delighted his side is playing Town after seeing them beat QPR in London last December, when Darren Currie scored on his debut.
Meszoly said: “I'm pleased that we are meeting good opposition in Ipswich Town. I saw them play QPR last season and thought then how good it would be to play Ipswich one day, and I'm delighted it has now become a reality.
“The result is of secondary importance because first and foremost I will be looking for players' performance and to correct recent mistakes.”
Despite losing a couple of their top players, Peter Simek and Balazs Farkas, during the summer, Ujpest are confident their crop of young talent will see them improve on their fourth place finish of last season.
The Violets will include their player of the year Norbert Toth, a full Hungarian international, and top scorer Peter Rajcz, who was linked with a move to Stoke City recently, in the line-up.
The Magyars may be without their influential veteran forward Zoltan Kovacs, who is struggling with a knee injury, but otherwise hope to have a fully fit side which will be the one that starts the Hungarian League season next week against Diogyors, who Town meet on Sunday.
Ipswich Town: Price, Wilnis, Richards, Garvan, De Vos, Naylor, Magilton, Forster, Parkin, Currie and Westlake. Subs: McDonald, Collins, Casement, Trotter, Bowditch and Supple.