Former Ipswich midfielder Geraint Williams backs Josh Yorwerth to make the grade

Ipswich Town v Stevenage
Capital One Cup First Round.Josh Yorwerth scores for Town .

Ipswich Town v Stevenage Capital One Cup First Round.Josh Yorwerth scores for Town . - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Josh Yorwerth can take his second chance at making it as a Championship centre-back with both hands.

Geraint Williams is grimfaced after the defeat at Plymouth

Geraint Williams is grimfaced after the defeat at Plymouth - Credit: Archant

That’s the opinion of Geraint Williams, the former Ipswich Town midfielder who, as Wales’ youth team manager, has worked closely with the Bridgend-born defender in recent years.

Yorwerth, 20, was released by Cardiff City in the summer and, after a trial, signed a two-year deal at Portman Road.

The towering centre-back started all three of Town’s Capital One Cup ties and did not look overawed by the prospect of marking Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini at Manchester United, the club he grew up supporting, during the recent 3-0 loss at Old Trafford.

Recently he joined League Two side Crawley Town and impressed on his debut as the southern outfit won 3-0 at Newport County to climb out of the relegation zone.

“He came through the Under-19s to the Under-21s with me,” said Williams, who made more than 200 appearances for the Blues and still lives in Ipswich. “I was told by Cardiff that he was not going to be offered a new contract in the summer and I still picked him for the 21s in March, which shows you what I think of him.

“I was asked about him by Ipswich and I had no hesitation in saying he was worth a look at because he’s a young man that has got a lot of good attributes to make a very good centre-half.

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“He’s comfortable on the ball, but his primary concern should be concentrating on his defending. Everyone bemoans the lack of the John Terrys and Jamie Carraghers in the game these days, so I think it’s important that defenders dedicate themselves to learning the arts of defending.

“He’s certainly working under a fantastic manager in Mick McCarthy to learn how to be a good defender.” Asked if he was surprised Cardiff let Yorwerth go, Williams said: “Sometimes lads need to move away from home and grow up a bit. Josh was disappointed to leave Cardiff but he’s got a second chance and not many players get that.

“He’s played in the Cup games and had a fantastic opportunity at Old Trafford. If that hasn’t motivated him to knuckle down and work hard, then nothing will.”

Another Town player Williams is working with at international level is 19-year-old keeper Michael Crowe. Williams said: “He’s a nice young man, probably a bit too nice, because he has got to boss that six-yard box for a someone of his size (6ft 5in).”

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