Neighbour Westlake is an inspiration

IF TOM Eastman makes the grade with Ipswich Town it will mark a remarkable coincidence.The 16-year-old, who has just been offered a two-year scholarship with the Blues, lives just two doors from Ian Westlake's family in Clacton.

Elvin King

IF TOM Eastman makes the grade with Ipswich Town it will mark a remarkable coincidence.

The 16-year-old, who has just been offered a two-year scholarship with the Blues, lives just two doors from Ian Westlake's family in Clacton.

And Eastman attends the same school as Westlake (pictured above) did - Clacton County High School - and like 'Westy' used to be a member of Clacton Swimming Club.

Westlake moved to Leeds United in the summer of 2006 for a reported £300,000 plus Dan Harding, and central defender Eastman admits that he has been inspired by his friend.

“Ian's an inspiration in terms of what happened to him and where his career has taken him,” said Eastman.

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“Hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.

“Finding out about the scholarship was great news and very exciting.

“I've been with Ipswich since I was seven and progressed through the various teams at the academy.”

Westlake made 133 appearances for Ipswich, scoring 19 goals before his switch to Elland Road.