Garvan stars for Irish in Under-21 game

IF Marcus Evans had not invested some of his millions into Ipswich Town the chances of midfield protégée Owen Garvan remaining at Portman Road next season would be slight.

Elvin King

IF Marcus Evans had not invested some of his millions into Ipswich Town the chances of midfield protégée Owen Garvan remaining at Portman Road next season would be slight.

The lad from Dublin - just turned 20 - put in a masterly display for the Republic of Ireland in their Under-21 3-0 defeat against England at Southampton last night.

A host of Premier League scouts were at the St Mary's Stadium, and many other interested observers were watching the match live on television.

Garvan was the pick of the midfield - particularly in the opening half when Ireland comfortable held their own against the most promising youngsters in England.

With proof that he can cut the mustard on the big stage, Garvan's name will no doubt be discussed by top flight managers when they look to improve their squads with young talent.

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But with Evans's cash stabilising the Blues, and manager Jim Magilton building to make Town a Premier League outfit again, Garvan's future - unless a 'silly' offer comes along - looks to be at Portman Road.

Garvan won his fourth Under-21 cap and played the full 90 minutes, while Billy Clarke, who now has six U21 caps, was replaced after 64 minutes.

Keeper Shane Supple, who like Clarke is on loan at Falkirk, was an unused substitute.

Ipswich academy midfielder Ed Upson won his fourth England Under-19 cap as he came on as a 79th minute substitute as his team defeated Croatia 2-0 at Swindon in a friendly.

Alex Bruce received a late call into the Irish senior squad for their friendly with Brazil at Croke Park tonight while new Macedonian signing Velice Sumulikoski is expected to win his 47th senior cap in a friendly against Serbia in Skopje.

Defender Chris Casement will be in European U21 Championship qualifier action when Northern Ireland take on Israel.