'I really hope they get promoted' - Downes on his time at Town
- Credit: Swansea City
Flynn Downes says he hopes Ipswich Town get promoted following his switch to Swansea City.
Essex-boy Downes, 22, joined the Blues at the age of seven and went on to make exactly 100 appearances for his boyhood club.
A popular character among team-mates, staff and fans, the former England youth international was Town's stand-out player during the 2019/20 season.
His time at the club came to a sad, drawn-out conclusion though. First, he handed in a transfer request after bids from Premier League club Crystal Palace were rejected. Then, after an injury-affected campaign, he was instructed to train with the Under-23s by boss Paul Cook.
Bournemouth, Barnsley and Peterborough all showed strong interest in his signature this summer, but in the end it was Swansea who got the deal done.
Asked about his time at Town, Downes said: "I can't thank them enough. Obviously the last couple of years has been tough, with the club getting relegated and whatever, but I can't thank them enough.
"I joined when I was seven, I've was there 15 years and they have made me the player I am. The coaches throughout the years have made me this player, so I can't thank them enough.
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"The fans... unbelievable. They have stuck by me every step of the way.
"I wish them all the best. I really hope they get promotion this season because they deserve it."
On his move to South Wales - the fee believed to be close to £1.5m with the potential to climb above £2m - Downes said: “I spoke to the gaffer (Russell Martin) and I just liked the way he came across, the players they have got and it all just added up for me.
“The style of play massively appeals to me. I played against the gaffer’s side (MK Dons) with Ipswich last year and I think we only touched the ball about four times during the entire game.
“So, when this came up, and I knew he was going to be here it was a dream move.
“I also know Gilly (Matt Gill now Swansea’s technical development coach) from my time at Ipswich. I loved working with him. He is a top man and that was also a part of my decision because he is a familiar face."
"On a team level, obviously the goal is to get back to the Premier League. Individually, I just want to play as much as I can and help the team."
New Swans boss Martin, who has taken over a team that lost to Brentford in May's Play-Off Final, said: "Flynn's a player that we had a look at in my previous club. Unfortunately we were well priced out of the market.
"When we came here and we realised that the owners were willing to back us on Flynn, we were really grateful for that.
"They understand what a good signing he can be, not just short-term but long-term.
"He's young, hungry and athletic, an excellent player, and felt he needed a fresh start.
"He's played in the league before at a very young age so he ticks all of the boxes for us.
"He will really add to the group in terms of his character, first and foremost, and what he'll bring on the pitch."