Jewell gives youngsters opportunity to prove themselves

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has been wise in the way he has dealt with young players who are out of contract at Portman Road in the summer.

He has offered one-year deals to Luke Hyam, Troy Brown and Ronan Murray and six month deals to Jack Ainsley, Tom Eastman and Conor Hourihane.

Ensuring that Ipswich kept clear of relegation trouble this term has been the main priority for Jewell since he took over from Roy Keane in January.

So he has been unable to see youngsters who featured regularly in predecessor Roy Keane’s teams in competitive action – and they deserve to be given a chance to show what they can do.

“I’m not quite sure about the lads – particularly those offered six months deals,” said Jewell.

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“Hopefully they will take up the option of six months and look to come back in pre-season and work towards a longer deal.

“In pre-season I can have a look at them – and this will keep them hungry.

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“Sometimes contracts can be handed out willy-nilly, but you want that desire to remain.

“They are all good lads who could become decent players, but seeing them against the second strings of Oxford and Watford is not like seeing what they can do at a higher level.”

Damien Delaney was seeing Jewell yesterday about his contract offer, and Jewell says that some of the potential deals involving the more senior players are coming to a conclusion.

“But one or two are not progressing,” added Jewell.

“But I remain hopeful in all of them.

“I spoke to David Norris’ agent on Thursday and we now know what they are looking for, we will revise things but whether we can get to that is a moot point.

“I genuinely think that senior players still considering their deals want to stay and they have all acted highly professionally.

“I want to keep them here.”

Jewell still has a few youngsters’ futures to sort out and he will be speaking to Jamie Griffiths (back) and Dave Cawley (knee) in due course while final year academy player Caolan Lavery has been given to October before a decision will be made on his future.

The Blues boss again confirmed that he will be trying to keep Jimmy Bullard beyond his current loan deal from Hull that ends in June.

“It’s complicated, but if we can do deal I’d love to,” added Jewell.

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