Ipswich Town scouts told Sylvan Ebanks-Blake he ‘wasn’t good enough’ as a teenager
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town new boy Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was told he was ‘not good enough’ by the club as a teenager.
The 27-year-old has signed for the Blues until the end-of-the-season, becoming reunited with his former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy at Portman Road.
It’s a real transfer coup for the Suffolk club, the two-times Championship Golden Boot winner turning down several other offers from sides in the division – understood to include high flying Leicester and Burnley – following his recovery from a leg break and ankle ligament damage sustained on April 1.
The striker started out at hometown club Cambridge United and, after failing to make the breakthrough at Manchester United as a youngster, went on to score a hatful of goals for Plymouth and Wolves in the Championship.
“It’s good to be back over this way again,” he said. “I’m from Cambridge and a lot of my family are still there.
“One of the first games I watched as a kid was here when Ipswich were in the Premier League. They were playing Liverpool.
“I actually got told I wasn’t good enough by an Ipswich scout when I was younger so it’s good to sign for them finally!
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“That was just before I went to United so I was about 14 or 15.”
Asked if he would have signed for Ipswich had it not been for McCarthy, he said: “That’s a good question. This is a big club with a lot of history. I’ve got that relationship with Mick though, we worked together for a four-and-a-half years, he stayed in touch with me throughout my injury and that shows you what sort of man he is.
“I don’t want to go into details, but there were other offers on the table. Mick was always at the front of queue though because of the sort of man he is.
“Sometimes it’s not always about who’s offering you the most money, it’s about the relationships you build with people.”
Ebanks-Blake will not feature in today’s home match against Watford, McCarthy having earmarked the FA Cup third round tie against Preston North End, at Portman Road on January 4, as his comeback date.
The striker insists he is fully over his bad injury though, saying: “I think being out of contract, although it’s difficult, enabled me to take my own time without the pressure of being at a club.
“You need games to get that sharpness back, but I’m not too far off. I feel good. I’ve jumped straight in with the boys, I’ve trained how they’ve trained over the last week and that was fine. I’ve been out there on the ball and running about for a good two months now. It’s up to the manager when he thinks I’m ready.”
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