Ipswich Town sign Robbie Fowler protégé Declan Daniels
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town have signed a teenage striker whose talents have been honed by former Liverpool and England hot-shot Robbie Fowler.
Kirkby-born Declan Daniels, 17, spent time with Everton and Tranmere as a schoolboy before joining the newly-opened ‘Fowler Education and Football Academy’ (FEFA) a year ago.
That led to a trial at Playford Road, with a two-year scholarship subsequently signed.
“I’m delighted for Declan,” Fowler told the Liverpool Echo. “He impressed us all with his attitude, first and foremost. He put in a lot of hard work so all credit to him and also to our staff, who have created a professional environment in education and football.
“We pride ourselves on creating positive futures for our students and this is a fantastic outcome for Declan and his family.”
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Daniels said: “When Tranmere didn’t keep me on I was gutted, I didn’t know whether to keep playing football seriously.
“But going down to FEFA last September was brilliant for me. The staff didn’t just make me a better footballer, they made me a better person.
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“They were positive all the time and gave me goals to aim for. Robbie has been a massive help. I’ve had a few personal chats with him and he gave me some great advice about how to improve my game.
“As a young centre forward who better to learn from? He told me to go for it and now all that hard work has paid off.”
Daniels, who had a trial with Liverpool and was watched by Stoke City, says he’s enjoyed his first week in Suffolk.
“Pre-season has been tough with the bleep tests but I’m enjoying it,” he said. “Ipswich have sorted me out digs in the town and I’m settling in.
“It’s exciting. I didn’t know whether I’d get another chance. Now I’m determined to put my foot down and make sure I take it.
“I’ll always be grateful to the Fowler Academy for what they did for me and I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Meanwhile, released Ipswich academy striker Nick Ingram has signed for Bury Town, where he ended last season on loan.