Five academy players awarded one-year professional deals at Ipswich Town
- Credit: James Ager
IPSWICH Town have given one-year professional contracts to five of their second-year academy scholars.
Jack Marriott, from Kettering, and Ipswich-born Tom Winter, who has been at the club since he was eight, have been regular scorers for the Under-18s this season.
Central midfielder Jonny Leddy has won caps with the Republic of Ireland at U16, U17 and U18 levels, while left-winger Mark Timlin has previously played for Ireland at U16 level.
Left-back David October, from Cambridge, has skippered Russell Osman’s U18s this season.
Academy director Bryan Klug said: “The whole group we have at the moment have been superb – their work ethic, their willingness to learn.
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“I have been delighted with the way they have applied themselves. There is still a lot of room for improvement but they want to learn.
“It’s not been easy for the group. Some of them have had three managers in their time here. There have been changes at various academy levels as well. They are being judged by the first-team manager at the end of the day.
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“Mick (McCarthy) is the one that they need to impress and the second-year scholars have not had that long to do that.
“We want to be known as a football club that believes in developing young players though and giving them the very best chance of progressing into the first team. Mick buys into that and so does the owner (Marcus Evans).
Blues boss McCarthy said: “They’re all really good young footballers who go about their job in the proper fashion.
“I think they will make good professionals because they all train well and they’ve all got ability.
“None of them are nailed on, for my money, to be successes. They’ve got the opportunity of another year to progress further at a place where they are loved and nurtured.
“Hopefully we can get them in the team.
“It’s never guaranteed, but we have a good academy, Bryan Klug runs it well, and this is the first step for them.
“They won’t be in the first team this season though. We’ve got a squad of 20 players and they’re the ones who will see the season out.”
Meanwhile, Joe Whight has joined Essex non-league side Chelmsford City on loan until the end of the season.
Speaking of the 19-year-old left-back – who is yet to make a first team appearance since graduating from the academy and due to be out-of-contract in the summer – McCarthy said: “The point of going out on loan is to play some meaningful games. It will be a tougher league for him than the Under-21s.”