Garvan wants to stay with Town

OWEN Garvan has good news for Ipswich Town fans - he has confirmed that he wants to stay at Portman Road and help make the Blues a force in the Premiership again.

By Elvin King

OWEN Garvan has good news for Ipswich Town fans - he has confirmed that he wants to stay at Portman Road and help make the Blues a force in the Premiership again.

The 18-year-old midfielder has been earning rave reports since making his debut in the opening game of the season, and is bound to become a target for big-money, top-flight clubs.

He has the talent to bring the good times back to Portman Road along with the likes of Shane Supple, Danny Haynes and Scott Barron, who have also emerged from Ipswich's famed Academy over the last eight months.

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“I want to stay and make Ipswich a force in the Premiership again,” said Garvan, who scored his second goal of the season in the win over Leicester City on Saturday.

“It seems a while ago now when Ipswich finished fifth in the top flight and were mixing it in the UEFA Cup with the best sides in Europe.

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“To repeat that would be a huge achievement, but with the management and players we have it can be done.

“While I am pleased that players like Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose are making big impressions in the Premiership with Charlton, it only adds to the frustrations as far as Ipswich are concerned.

“I see myself staying with Ipswich for many years yet. They gave me my chance and have given me a perfect football education - as well as looking after me so well since I left Dublin.”

Garvan was heartened when Town chairman David Sheepshanks assured fans that the club will retain all its best youngsters.

“There will be no more unforced sales,” said Sheepshanks after the club's financial situation was recently restructured - the only proviso being that season ticket sales for next season remain similar to the current campaign.

“It was reassuring to read what the chairman said,” added Garvan. “The current youngsters in the first team squad, and just outside, can now develop to their full potential with Ipswich.”

Garvan's eye for a meaningful pass, his energy, defensive qualities and desire mark him out as a teenager with a spectacular future.

And he caught the eye of Sir Bobby Robson when the ex-Town boss watched the Leicester game.

Now consultant to Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton, Robson flew to Dublin for tonight's friendly with Sweden with a glowing report on Dublin-born Garvan.

Robson took time out on Saturday evening to speak to Garvan and fellow candidates for the Irish side, Shane Supple and Alan Lee.

Although none of Town's trio of Irish players are involved tonight, they will be in line for serious consideration for qualifying games for Euro 2008.

Garvan was delighted to meet up with Sir Bobby. “He had a chat, and it was a lovely way to finish what was a great afternoon for me.

“He told me to keep going, to keep working hard and to keep improving.

“Sir Bobby was very encouraging, but I know I must keep my place in the Ipswich side before I can start thinking about playing for my country.”

Three senior Town stars - Fabian Wilnis, Richard Naylor and Jason De Vos - will not join in training until tomorrow to nurse injuries. Wilnis came off worst in a collision of knees with Naylor on Saturday, and the Dutchman is rated the most doubtful of the trio.

De Vos has an arthritic toe, which requires rest from time to time, but both he and Naylor are likely starters at the weekend.

Ipswich are still hoping that striker Alan Lee will be available as Ricardo Fuller is suspended. Lee has done well this week with fitness coach Simon Thadani and he expects to join in full training tomorrow after suffering a hamstring strain on Valentine's Day.

JOE Royle is in the running for the February Championship Manager of the Month award. The Ipswich Town boss is up against Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell, Watford's Adrian Boothroyd and Crystal Palace's Iain Dowie.

LEWIS Price is in line for his second full cap when Wales play Paraguay in a friendly at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, tonight.

The Ipswich Town keeper, who has been displaced as the Blues No. 1 by Shane Supple, is one of the young players Welsh manager John Toshack is likely to want to have a look at before the European Championship qualifiers begin.

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