Elliott Hewitt signing represents change of transfer policy for Paul Jewell
PAUL Jewell is the first to admit that he has made mistakes in the managerial hot-seat of Ipswich Town.
None more so than his ill-advised attempt to fill his squad with thirty-something big-name, big-money signings 12 months ago.
But what a difference a year makes.
At the start of the last pre-season, Michael Chopra and Ivar Ingimarsson were brought in, quickly followed by fellow experienced duo Nathan Ellington and Lee Bowyer.
But after that plan backfired and Town slumped to 15th in the Championship, Jewell has kept true to his word by planning for the future – looking to bring in little-known, lower-league players.
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The name Elliott Hewitt might not have resonated with many fans this time last week, but the expected signing of Macclesfield’s Welsh Under-21 right-back has largely been well received by supporters.
Hewitt, who should celebrate his 18th birthday today by confirming his move to Portman Road, is regarded as exactly the kind of player Jewell should be targeting.
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Young, hungry, quick and full of ambition, the capture of the teenager should be the start of a sea-change in Jewell’s thinking.
The Blues boss is right to point to the fact that one or two experienced heads are always needed, but the dire lack of pace running throughout the Town team last season was obvious to any regular observer.
Hewitt’s signing – he had his medical on Monday night and was putting the finishing touches to negotiations with Jewell yesterday – should herald the start of a summer overhaul.
And the capture of younger players, unproven at this level, should also bide Jewell a little patience among the faithful as he enters the final year of his contract.