Striking similarities – praise for young Ipswich Town trio Jack Marriott, Tom Winter and Mark Timlin
A NEW generation of goalscorers are coming through the ranks.
That’s according to academy director Bryan Klug, who says red-hot trio Jack Marriott, Tom Winter and Mark Timlin could follow in the footsteps of the likes of Darren Bent, Connor Wickham and Jordan Rhodes.
Strike duo Marriott and Winter, who scored the winner in last night’s FA Youth Cup victory over Bristol City, have netted 13 and eight goals for the club’s Under-21s and Under-18s respectively, while Irish winger Timlin had pitched in with four.
“Jack has scored a few goals for the Under-21s and is one of those second-year scholars who are fighting like hell to get themselves a third year,” said Klug. “If he continues to improve he’ll be alright, but he’s got a long way to go yet.
“We’ve had a lot of centre-forwards come through here, the likes of Jordan (Rhodes), Connor (Wickham) and Darren Bent. He’s got a little way to go to emulate them, but he’s got a real knack of scoring goals, as have other people like Tom Winter and Mark Timlin.
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“They’re not that far behind the likes of the people I mentioned there though if they carry on improving the way they are.”
Klug made Town’s academy famous through the 1990s by bringing through talent such as Kieron Dyer, Richard Wright, Darren Ambrose, Titus Bramble and James Scowcroft, going on to be Jim Magilton’s assistant and then temporarily caretaker boss.
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Dismissed from a first-team coaching role by Roy Keane in 2009, he was brought back to the club in the summer by Paul Jewell to head up the academy under the new Elite Player Performance Plan.
Town have opted to go for Category Two status under the Premier League orientated system. And with plenty of new staff having been appointed and facilities significantly upgraded in preparation for an audit, Klug is confident the youth production line can start turning again for new Blues boss Mick McCarthy.
“You want to hand over at least one or two a year into the professional squad,” said the 52-year-old. “I would expect to be doing that at least this summer – that’s certainly what I’ve told the owner (Marcus Evans) and chief executive (Simon Clegg) we’ll be doing.
“We’re hopeful that some of these boys can make it, but we’ve got to make sure they’re ready to take their chance if it comes along.”
– See today’s Ipswich Star for more from Bryan Klug’s thoughts on Luke Hyam and Josh Carson’s limited chances under Paul Jewell. To buy an e-edition, visit: http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/home/e-edition