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'He has the temperament, character and talent to go a long way' - Ipswich icon Holland on newest captain Downes

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 December 2019

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Matt Holland believes Flynn Downes is destined for big things. Picture: ARCHANT

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Matt Holland believes Flynn Downes is destined for big things. Picture: ARCHANT

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Ipswich Town icon Matt Holland believes midfielder Flynn Downes has the 'temperament, character and ability to go a long way' in the game.

Flynn Downes became Ipswich Town's youngest ever captain in the 1-1 FA Cup draw with Coventry City on Sunday. Photo: Ross HallsFlynn Downes became Ipswich Town's youngest ever captain in the 1-1 FA Cup draw with Coventry City on Sunday. Photo: Ross Halls

Holland, a veteran of 321 Ipswich appearances, a Wembley promotion and a fifth-place finish in the Premier League in 2000/01, first saw Downes playing at Ipswich's academy when he was in the final years of primary school and liked what he saw.

The former midfielder, who now works in the media, has been impressed when he's seen Downes in action this season and believes he has all the attributes required to go far in the game.

Holland also admitted that Downes, who captained Ipswich for the first time at Coventry on Sunday, is a player he would be looking to sign if he was a manager at another club.

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Flynn Downes shrugs an opponent off the ball at Coventry Picture PagepixFlynn Downes shrugs an opponent off the ball at Coventry Picture Pagepix

"Of course I can," Holland said in an interview with the club website, when asked if he could understand why Downes has been attracting praise of late.

"Flynn is a player I've known for quite a long time because my son did a bit of training with the academy and I did a bit of coaching here as well.

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"Straight away he was one who caught my eye and he was only 10 or 11 years old. I thought he had the temperament and character to go a long way, as well as the ability and talent of course.

Town manager Paul Lambert embraces Flynn Downes as he is substituted.
  Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comTown manager Paul Lambert embraces Flynn Downes as he is substituted. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

"He's proving that again this season and I think he's been absolutely outstanding - a key player for Paul Lambert.

"Whisper it quietly but if I was a manager somewhere else he'd be one I would go and sign really because I think he is that good."

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Holland was the last man to captain a promotion-winning Ipswich Town side, lifting the trophy at Wembley in 2000, and is confident Paul Lambert's class of 2019/20 can repeat the trick two decades on.

"I'd hope so, but nothing's won at this stage of the season," Holland said.

"It's been a good start but the ultimate aim is to get promoted at the end of the season.

"I'm confident there is enough ability in the dressing room and within the staff to get the team up."

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