Jack Marriott’s carrying on where he left off at Ipswich Town
- Credit: James Ager
Jack Marriott could well have sulked when he discovered he wasn’t making the trip to Republic of Ireland with the Ipswich Town first-team, especially as some of his academy team-mates were.
But there was not a chance of that happening. Instead, Marriott, who made his senior bow during the final game of last season at Burnley, got back to what he does best, scoring goals.
The 18-year-old scored twice in the 6-0 win at Coggeshall last Saturday, his first after 10 seconds, and carried on where he left off last season, displaying the desire and work-rate that eventually saw him earn his big chance.
“Jack got his game at the end of last season so there is the example to the other boys,” said Town academy director Bryan Klug.
“Mick has got four or five strikers in the first team so decided to leave Jack behind for the Ireland trip.
“But his attitude has been fantastic and he scored the quickest goal I have seen, after 10 seconds, at Coggleshall.
“That’s an example of the positive vibe that there is around the club and the manager is responsible for that.”
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Marriott scored 26 goals combined for the club’s under-18 and 21 teams last season and was rewarded with a second-half substitute appearance at Turf Moor.
He signed a one-year professional deal with the club earlier this year and is among a clutch of young hopefuls, including second-year scholar Byron Lawrence, who made his debut for the first team aged 16, at Doncaster, looking to make the breakthrough at Portman Road.
“There was a group of five boys that we kept on at the end of the season and gave one-year contracts too,” said Klug, referring to Marriott, Jonny Leddy, Tom Winter, David October and Mark Timlin.
“The reason we kept them on is because they work terrifically hard and we feel we can improve them.
“While in the past, there have been young players at the club with more talent, no one showed a better attitude than the five we kept on.”
First-year professionals October and Timlin have travelled to Kildare, where the Blues have been training the last few days, and were joined by Lawrence, as well as right-back Kyle Hammond and central midfielder Amir Berkane, who are both second-year scholars.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for them,” said Klug.
“Mick has split the (academy) group in to two and a few of the players have got the opportunity to go to Ireland.
“They are there for a week and they will learn a lot and this opportunity will help with their development as a person.
“It takes a certain type of person to be in a dressing room, everything is slightly different when you have a career as a footballer, and generally, while the senior pros may give them some tasks to do, it’s good for team building.”
The quintet in Ireland are unlikely to be regulars under McCarthy this season and will be expected to continue their development in the under-21 team.
However, Klug insists a trip to the Emerald Isle is not an invitation to just go through the motions.
“We’re encouraging players to try and improve all the time,” said Klug.
“It’s a big part of the manager’s job to see if they can handle the step up.
“But he likes their attitiude, their work-ethic and he trusts them to go out there and take part in all the training sessions.
“That’s how this club works.”