A new Polish keeper, Cameron Stewart 2.0 and an ‘Asian Star’ – meet Town’s latest scholars
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town have announced who their scholars will be for the next two years. Here a combination of the club’s coaches give their verdict on the 13 teenagers who will step up to the full-time programme at Playford Road.
From Bart to Bort... Remarkably, Town have another Polish keeper in the pipeline.
Antoni, who lives in Lowestoft, joined Town’s academy at the start of this season and has featured on the bench for the Under-18s.
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Coaches’ verdict: “Right-footed and has a good range of passing and kicking. Agile and quick around his goal. One of his biggest strengths is his shot-stopping.”
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A regular for the U18s recently, he can play at right-back or left-back.
Coaches’ verdict: “An athletic player who has great acceleration and pace. He is able to affect play in both boxes, in and out of possession.
“Loves to run, dribble and cross. Shows great potential to develop.”
Recently made his U18s debut.
Coaches’ verdict: “Has a physical presence. Calm and composed in possession but not afraid to defend when necessary. Powerful and dynamic. He’s developing all the time as a defender.”
Joined from the renowned Kinetic Academy in South London, following in the footsteps of Myles Kenlock in that regard.
Coaches’ verdict: “Tall and powerful. Comfortable on ball and has a great range of passing. Always smiling and happy. A committed and resolute defender.”
Has been involved in England camps.
Coaches’ verdict: “Consistent performer with a good tactical understanding. Breaks up opposition play. Calm and relaxed in possession. Great ability with his feet – specifically his passing range.”
Named as Town’s stand-out player in the ‘Academy Showcase’ game against Tottenham last May. A few appearances for the U18s since then, including in a Suffolk Cup tie at Walsham.
Coaches’ verdict: “Intelligent footballer who reads the game very well, both in and out of possession.
Able to break up the opposition’s play and start attack opportunities.
Great range of passing. Can dictate the play. Vision for a forward pass.
Guested for Tottenham on an U15s tour of the USA. A regular for the U18s this season, scoring twice.
Coaches’ verdict: “Creative player with good ball control. Able to play a number of positions depending upon formation. Eye for a pass and can open up defences with his quality. Good leadership and communication skills.”
Position: Centre-back / Centre-midfield
Can hopefully be a bigger success at Portman Road than his namesake (no relation).
Scouted when playing in the Super Cup where he captained the winners, County Antrim, in the final. Town subsequently beat a number of clubs to sign him from Belfast club Linfield.
Helped Northern Ireland win this season’s Victory Shield.
Coaches’ verdict: “Impressed staff with his determined attitude and ability. Excellent range of passing. Enjoys stepping into midfield with the ball. Strong in the tackle and aggressive in both boxes.”
Position: Attacking midfielder / Striker
Scored in the FA Youth Cup third round tie against Andover this season.
Coaches’ verdict: “Hard-working attacker that shows good understanding of his responsibilities in and out of possession. Loves to dribble and delivers an end product.”
Position: Wide midfield / Striker
Born in London to Indian parents he had trials at Tottenham and West Ham.
Won a 12-month placement at the Chelsea Foundation Football Development Centre back in 2015 at Asian Star – a talent hunt program for British Asian footballers.
Town allowed him, along with Ben Knight, Zak Brown, and Liam Gibbs, to guest for Spurs on an U15s tour of the USA.
Can play in a variety of positions up top.
Coaches’ verdict: “Exciting player to watch. Runs at defenders on the ball, good movement off it to create space for himself or others.
“Contributed greatly to the group scoring lots of goals this season. Handy knack of always seeming to be in the right place at the right time.”
Position: Midfield / Wide striker
Started out at Dagenham and Redbridge and was then highly-rated in the Tottenham youth set-up. Joined Town earlier this season.
Highlighted in the Mirror as one of six youngsters ‘tipped to reach the top’ this time last year. Playing style was compared to Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in that article.
Coaches’ verdict: “Athletic. Technically very good. Good understanding for what’s needed to play as a striker or in the midfield unit. Can come short and link play. Can also play off the shoulder and create space for others.”
Scored lots of goals for the U16s this season and stepped up for the U18s on occasion.
Coaches’ verdict: “All-action centre-forward who knows where the back of the net is. Very good athletic attributes. Quick and agile. Desire, work-rate and commitment to score goals in and around the box.
“Out of possession acts as the first line of defence. Presses high to win the ball back.”
Basildon-based player yet to play for the U18s.
Coaches’ verdict: “Powerful centre-forward. Eye for goal, but also able to link the play and bring others into the game. Tenacious. Gets around the pitch and hassles defenders.”