Colback proud of his award

THERE could have been no prouder recipient of a player-of-the-year award than young Jack Colback.

THERE could have been no prouder recipient of a player-of-the-year award than young Jack Colback.

North Shields-born Colback, who is relishing his return to the north-east this afternoon, was as proud-as-punch to win his players’ player-of-the-year trophy.

“It was a special moment for me. It’s a great compliment to get off the rest of the players, and my team-mates. You couldn’t ask for anymore than that,” enthused Colback, who has been on loan from Sunderland for the season.

“It was great, but it came as a surprise. I am only a youngster, so it feels good.

“It was a shock. I didn’t imagine when I first came down here that I would be the players’ player-of-the-year.

“When I first came down, I didn’t have any experience of playing first team football, so the manager blooded us slowly, and I think that’s helped me in the long run.

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“If he’d thrown me in straight away, I might not have coped with it, and not done as well as I have done in the second half of the season.

“I think I’ve progressed quite well during the season. At the start I wasn’t in the team much until January, but since then I think I’ve played pretty much every game,” added Colback.

The versatile Colback, who has operated in central midfield, left-back and left-midfield this term, has actually started every game since the turn of the year, amounting to 23 games on the trot.

Today will be his penultimate game in a Town shirt, against the team he used to support as a youngster.

“I grew up supporting Newcastle as a young boy. They’ve done fantastic this season and have won the league at a canter,” continued Colback.

“But once the whistle goes, all that goes out of the window. I’ve got a job to do, and that’s with Ipswich.

“I went to Newcastle for a trial when I was about nine or 10, but I wasn’t really ready. I was still enjoying playing Sunday League football with my pals, and wasn’t ready to make that step up.

“Once you go into an Academy, it’s all about training hard and the fun does go a bit.

“With Sunderland, I first went and said that I didn’t want to go, but second time I chose it.

“It wasn’t really a difficult decision, because it’s not like my family are die-hard Newcastle fans. It’s not that I was getting slated or anything. It wasn’t too bad.”

Even though Newcastle thumped Town 4-0 at Portman Road earlier in the season, in what was one of Colback’s few league starts before the turn of the year, the 20-year-old is hopeful of a better result today.

He explained: “It should be a fantastic occasion. The atmosphere is always good at Newcastle games, and I think that it’s a sell-out. We want to spoil their party.

“I don’t think that I’ll get too much stick, because I was only in the Reserves at Sunderland, so I might get away with it. But Grant (Leadbitter) and the manager might take the brunt of it.”

As for his long-term future, Colback revealed: “You never know in football (about a return to Ipswich).

“When this move happened, it was all done in a couple of days, the click of fingers.

“I’ll be back at Sunderland for pre-season and will be looking to impress to get in Steve Bruce’s team for next season.”

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