Joe Whight can break into Paul Jewell’s first team
He played alongside Alan Hunter, Kevin Beattie and Terry Butcher during his own distinguished career with the Super Blues.
Now Russell Osman believes Ipswich-born teenage defender Joe Whight has the potential to follow in those illustrious footsteps and break into the first team.
Blues boss Paul Jewell has often spoken highly of Whight – who signed a two-year professional contract in the summer – even refusing to let him go out on loan.
And now his thoughts have been echoed by Under-18s coach Osman, following Whight’s starring role in Tuesday night’s FA Youth Cup win over Leeds United.
Osman said: “Joe has been at the club a long time and all the staff rate him highly. He is a tough lad, brave, with a lovely left foot.
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“In the Leeds match, he had a bit of determination in him, which was nice to see. He was up for the physical side of the game.”
Jewell and Chris Hutchings have both praised Whight, who usually plays left-back but was man-of-the-match at centre back in the 2-0 cup win.
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But Osman warned: “I keep telling Joe what a good player he is. The only person who doesn’t believe it is Joe himself sometimes. It is a little bit of that Suffolk upbringing.
“He is a terrific lad. And if we all keep telling him he’s a good player, then one day he might believe us.”
Despite embracing the first Town win witnessed at Portman Road for seven weeks, Osman called on his second-year scholars to continue trying to impress Jewell before a decision on their future is made.
Osman said: “They haven’t got time to rest on their laurels. They have to go into the next academy game on Saturday, away to Norwich, and prove themselves again.
“There is not long to make a decision. I know what they can do but the manager needs to see what they can do. They can only impress by doing it week-in, week-out.”