So who is Liam Trotter?

THE name was familiar to many Town fans but just who is this strapping midfielder who scored such a good goal against the U's? DEREK DAVIS spoke to Danny Laws, the man who recognised his talent so early on.

By Derek Davis

THE name was familiar to many Town fans but just who is this strapping midfielder who scored such a good goal against the U's?

DEREK DAVIS spoke to Danny Laws, the man who recognised his talent so early on.

LIAM Trotter is one who so nearly got away but for the eagle-eyed Danny Laws.

The Ipswich Town midfielder, who scored the second goal in the 3-1 win over Colchester United on Tuesday, is a classic example of never giving up.

The 19-year-old Trotter was close to slipping out of the acclaimed Ipswich Town Academy's net and was picked up by Laws, who spotted his potential while selecting the Suffolk Youth team.

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Laws took the former Northgate pupil to Bury Town as a 15-year-old and enrolled him into West Suffolk College.

After just three months the 6ft 2ins Trotter had done enough to convince Richard Wilkins that he was just about ready for a first team debut and for Laws to call up Ipswich Town to suggest they take him.

Laws, now manager of Ridgeons League table-topping Needham Market and an UEFA advanced coach, recalls: “In the six years I was at West Suffolk I had never phoned a professional club recommending a player but I was sure enough about Liam after three months with us to call Malcolm Moore.

“He first came to my attention at county level and was our player of the year so I recruited him to West Suffolk College.”

It was not just his imposing size that impressed Laws, and Bury Town boss Richard Wilkins, but Trotter's aptitude, attitude and eye-catching ability.

Laws said: “He was an August birthday which meant he was just 15 when he came to us but even then he was over 6ft and physically strong. He was, and still is a very good mover and on top a lovely lad who is very well rounded.

“Liam has a very laid back style, Richard Wilkins likened him to Jason Dozzell at 15 and he was spot on. So much so in fact that Liam was a regular in the reserves and Richard was considering giving him his first team debut when he was still just 15.

“Although Liam does look laid back he has an inner-strength and determination to succeed.”

Trotter also had trials with Colchester United as a youngster but was twice rejected, making his goal against them on Tuesday night all the sweeter.

Ipswich born and bred, Trotter played in the FA Youth Cup winning team, and made his Blues debut as a substitute 10 minutes from the end of Town's 2-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle in what turned out to be Joe Royle's last game in charge.

Trotter was handed a professional contract in August last year and was immediately shipped out on loan to Willie Donachie's Millwall, where he played three games in three months.

A fleeting role as a substitute in the FA Cup loss at Watford was his only other appearance for Town before Tuesday night.

Trotter had impressed in training and playing in the reserves, capturing the eye with a well-taken goal in the 3-0 win over Norwich last week, which prompted Jim Magilton to put him in the squad at QPR and on the bench against the U's.

Now Trotter intends to keep his place in the squad and scoring goals for his beloved Town.

He said: “This has given me great confidence. I always felt I could do well given the chance and scoring goals is such a big part of my game.

“So now I want to push on even more and establish myself in this team.”

Trotter is not the only find in recent years at Bury with Ian Miller, currently on loan at Darlington until January, signing last season.

And 16-year-old keeper Chris Stacey has just returned to the West Suffolk College after a week's trial at Premiership club Blackburn Rovers. Stacey, from Chedburgh, has already had stints at Norwich City and Cambridge.

Laws said: “This is the benefit of these soccer schemes.

“They act as a safety net and it is only right that they are getting recognised for the players they find and develop.”

Meanwhile, Laws continues to monitor Trotter's progress and added: “I stay in touch with Liam and I'm delighted for him to be doing so well.”

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