Fuller Flavour: Brilliant young Blues do us proud, plus my pick for Player of the Season


Joyous scenes as Town's U18s go through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup. Here the team celebrate their late, late winner. - Credit: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town fan and writer Karl Fuller reflects on the last week at the Blues in his popular column...

The story of the weekend for me was, without a doubt, our Under 18’s FA Youth Cup win on Friday night.

What an amazing achievement for our young Blues to reach the semi-final.

Those outside of Ipswich will not think about how we entered the tournament at the first round stage, how we are a Category 2 Academy and how we’ve beaten Category 1 sides along the way.

Late drama as Town U18s beat Fulham at Portman Road in the FA Youth Cup Picture: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town's U18 side are in the last four of the FA Youth Cup - Credit: Archant

In short, it has been a phenomenal achievement to date and massive congratulations to all of the players and coaching staff.

A home tie in the semi-final against Liverpool is just rewards and it is a shame that it cannot be played with fans present.

The whole FA Youth Cup run this season takes me back to 2005 when we went all the way to lift the trophy for the third time.

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Older fans will recall our successes in 1973 and 1975 and remember the players who came out of those sides to go on and play in the first team and make history.

I am looking forward to seeing who will be the next home-grown talent to make the grade with us, but err on the side of caution as we know these days any exceptional talent is snapped up by the vultures circling from Category 1 clubs before they get the chance to make it here at Ipswich.

I know I’m jumping ahead of things here, but to give you an idea of how massive it would be if we could go all the way this season and win the competition, we would draw level with Liverpool on four wins.

That mark is only bettered by Arsenal (seven wins), Chelsea (nine) and Manchester United (10). Regardless of that, whatever happens from here on, the lads should be immensely proud of their achievements.

Meanwhile, back in the senior side, Player of the Year voting has opened and seemingly has left a lot of fans with a very difficult decision to make.

Many seasons have gone by where it has been difficult to decide who to vote for. On those occasions, it has been because of some very worthy winners.

The difficulty of this season is that there is not really anyone who stands out at all. I know some fans will abstain from voting and have questioned why it’s even happening after such a poor season.

Others are casting their vote for a youngster who has only played one or two games.

After a process of elimination more than anything else, I was really only left with James Wilson as a viable vote and that is who I went with.

Ipswich Town's James Wilson during the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road, Ipswich. Picture da

James Wilson is Karl's pick for Town player of the season - Credit: PA

I think that he has been his usual unnoticeable self in games, done things calmly and chipped in with a couple of goals. Granted, it’s not much of a reason for voting but it’s more than I could think of for many other players.

As for the news of season ticket renewals, I think from my own personal viewpoint, it’s just about fair enough.

I do though totally accept the frustration behind the club stating that iFollow coverage of home games for this season was ‘free’ for season ticket holders - so why have season ticket holders not been reimbursed £230 for the 23 home game screened?

A general view of cardboard cut-out of fans in the stands including Boris Johnson before the Sky Bet

For all but two games of the season, the only fans allowed inside Portman Road have been made out of cardboard - Credit: PA

I have watched nearly all of the home games and accept that I should provide some fee back to the club. I’m sure many fans would feel the same too but as I say, if it was advertised as something ‘free’, the club should honour this.

Oh and finally, I almost forgot, but there was a first-team game on Saturday and not only did we win, we scored too!

With a social media blackout by the club and media outlets added to the fact that I was out on Saturday afternoon, I cannot really recall the last time I was so out of touch with what was happening in a league game.

I feel no different now to when we play a pre-season friendly game. The result is immaterial to my life as the next two games will be.

It’s a shocking reflection on this season that is almost now at a much-wanted end.

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