It's got to be Danny's year

IF Ipswich Town are to hit the high spots in 2009 then it needs to be the year when Danny Haynes takes off.

Elvin King

IF Ipswich Town are to hit the high spots in 2009 then it needs to be the year when Danny Haynes takes off.

The forward, who celebrates his 21st birthday next month, is the one player on the Blues books who has the pace to terrify defenders.

Unless manager Jim Magilton brings in another speed merchant in what are likely to be limited January transfer window incoming dealings, Haynes could hold the key to whether Town can mount a serious challenge for promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship or not.

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A member of the 2005 FA Youth Cup-winning side, Haynes has made 38 starts and 75 substitute appearances in the first team, scoring 20 goals.

But he has only started five matches this term as his career has hit a barren period.

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He played a vital role when Town outplayed Coventry City using a 4-1-2-3 formation at the Ricoh Arena just before Christmas, and Town were found wanting after he twisted an ankle in the Boxing Day game against Birmingham City and had to go off after 28 minutes.

Theo Walcott and Gabriel Agbonlahor are two players who have shown where raw pace can take youngsters - and Haynes has similar speed.

If he can make the most of his formative years and mature into a consistent performer he can prove to be trump card for Town in the months - and years - ahead.

One of the main reasons for Ipswich's inconsistency this campaign has been a lack of pace to get behind defences.

They have scored their fair share of goals, but when clubs - Norwich, Doncaster and Birmingham in particular - have made a point of closing Town down in midfield there has been no outlet and bad defeats have followed.

Haynes is the one player who has what it takes to unlock any defence - although he will be the first to admit that he needs to step up to the plate.

He says that he is more mature and able to handle situations better - and now is the time to show it.

A flying Haynes, and 2009 could be a magical time for Ipswich Town.

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