Bennett’s Town career was ended by rise of Tommy Smith

FORMER Ipswich Town youth player Ryan Bennett believes Tommy Smith is the reason why he is no longer at the club.

The Peterborough centre-back believes the emergence of the New Zealander defender led to him being released by Ipswich five years ago.

While Blues fans have their doubts over Smith at this level, 21-year-old Bennett has since established himself at London Road, becoming an integral member of Darren Ferguson’s first team.

Bennett said: “All of the players from my time there have left apart from centre-back Tommy Smith. He came on trial when I was there and he did well and that was probably the reason I am no longer there. However, we have both gone on to play first team football, so it has worked out well for both of us.”

The former Town youth player will tonight line up against his former side hoping to help continue Peterborough’s impressive start to the season, while speaking in only glowing terms about his time in Suffolk.


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He explained: “Ipswich was a good place to be brought up. There are a lot of players who have come through the ranks there like Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose and anybody who knows anything about the set-up at Ipswich will know they have a good history of developing players.

“I was a bit shocked when I left Ipswich, I had played for the Under-18 team when I was 15, so to get released when I was 16 was a big blow.

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“I had to pick myself up, move on and find another club and go on to make a name for myself there, but to be fair I had a lot of help from Ipswich getting me round other clubs.”

Having been part of the Posh squad during their one-season stay in the Championship two years ago, Bennett has spotted a noticeable increase in the standard of the second tier.

He said: “This is the hardest start to a season that I have ever had. The games really come thick and fast, but as players, you enjoy that challenge of playing regularly and some of the teams we are playing are massive sides.

“The league seems a bit tougher than the last time we were at this level, but we have played well in the games we have played and have been unlucky not to win all of them.”

Town boss Paul Jewell was at the New Den to see Peterborough draw with Millwall on Wednesday night, but 24 hours before Posh boss Darren Ferguson was on his own spying mission inside Portman Road.

And Ferguson said: “I’m never sure how to view results like Ipswich suffered on Tuesday. Southampton were very good and Ipswich didn’t play well, but teams tend to react positively to defeats like that.

“I know Paul Jewell very well and there’s no way he will accept another like performance like that.”

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