Jamie out to prove Jewell right

FOR six long months, Jamie Griffiths’ career at Ipswich Town hung by a thread.

The teenager last year suffered a double stress fracture to his spine just weeks before Paul Jewell arrived in the Blues hotseat.

He then faced a nightmare spell on the sidelines while his new manager began deciding what youngsters he wanted to keep at Portman Road.

Having never kicked a ball in front of Jewell, Griffiths knew the decision could go either way, admitting that he was “surprised, but relieved” when a new six-month deal was offered in May.

Now, having played his first game in 2011 last week, the 19-year-old from Sudbury is determined to repay the faith shown by Jewell – and the dedication of the club’s medical staff.

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Griffiths said: “I knew it was a serious injury and there were times when I wondered whether I would ever play again. I was very worried and very fearful for my future.”

The teenage midfielder was given a squad number last season and made his first and only appearance in a Town shirt as a late substitute in the Carling Cup win over Northampton in October.

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But just two months later, Griffiths’ dreams were up in the air.

He explained: “I was in a bit of pain in training but I tried to carry on for a couple of weeks as I didn’t know what it was. I had a scan and was told that I had a double stress fracture on my spine.”

When Jewell replaced Roy Keane, the youngster knew he faced a race against time to try and convince the new man before his contract ran out at the end of last season.

He said: “Paul Jewell had never seen me play so he had to go on what others told him. I was surprised but relieved when he offered me the new contract.

“He said that he had heard I was a good player and just told me to get myself fit. I worked hard to come back and I can’t thank the club enough.”

Griffiths’ road to recovery started as a second half sub against Bury Town last week and, as he looks to impress over the next few months, he hasn’t ruled out a loan spell as a way of fighting for a new contract.

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