Garvan: The truth about bust up

A PROTECTIVE Jim Magilton has put a supportive arm around troubled midfielder Owen Garvan and vowed to help him through his current period of self-doubt.

By Derek Davis

A PROTECTIVE Jim Magilton has put a supportive arm around troubled midfielder Owen Garvan and vowed to help him through his current period of self-doubt.

Homesick Garvan and sympathetic boss Magilton have had a heart-to-heart chat to find a way forward which is best for all concerned.

The prodigious youngster was close to returning home more than a year ago but was convinced by Joe Royle to stick it out.

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Garvan has told close friends that he is not sure he wants to play football any more and has hankered for a return home to Dublin , where he is in a close relationship, and to be with his family.

But he is also known as one of the most dedicated trainers and students of the game with a hunger to succeed.

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This paradox has troubled the complex youngster and those close to him who want to help.

Garvan was allowed to go home to Ireland two days before the squad enjoyed a nine-day break in order to clear his head and returned on time last weekend.

He has been in Loughborough training this week and played 45 minutes against Burton Albion and turned out again last night against Kettering Town after he and Magilton had a frank discussion.

While much of their conversation will remain private Magilton said that he could empathise with the young Irishman and understood his concerns.

Magilton said: “Owen still loves the game. It would take something extraordinary for him to fall out of love with football but he has had thoughts about what his life is about.

“Owen has things going on in Dublin and he is a 19-year-old lad who gets very homesick at times.

“I can empathise with that because I went through that as a youngster and I still miss home at times.

“You do miss those home comforts and the things you are most used to and enjoy.

“I think also as a thoughtful 19-year-old, Owen has realised the enormity of where he is at and that can be daunting.”

Magilton insisted he and the club would do all they could to help and was sure he will continue to play his part for the Blues.

Magilton said: “We have had a very open conversation and the situation is that we carry on and help Owen through this.

“We need to get him back to the form he was showing towards the end of last season which was him at his best.

“He is playing games and remains an integral part of what we are building at Ipswich.

“We have given him time to clear his head and if he needs more time then we will give him that. At the same time Owen knows he has obligations and a contract to fulfil. He also doesn't want to be disruptive but he knows how the lads feel about him.

“He has immense respect in the dressing room for what he brings to the table.”

Garvan, who was fondly nicknamed 'Owen the Moan' by his Home Farm team-mates who included Shane Supple and Michael Synnott, due to his desire for perfection all around the pitch, joined the Blues Academy as a 15-year-old.

He was part of the Ipswich Town under 18s squad that won the FA Youth Cup in 2005, although missed the second leg of the final due to a virus.

Shingles meant he missed pre-season last year and suffered a further setback at the start of last campaign when he was hit by a post-viral infection before returning to action in November.

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