The ‘next’ Connor Wickham on show against Manchester United on Saturday
THE next Connor Wickham or Danny Welbeck will be on show at Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) when Ipswich Town entertain Manchester United at Under-15 level.
The Mighty Reds started visiting Suffolk for an annual game at this level in 2006 and in that time a host of players who have gone on to make the Town first team have featured, plus the likes of full England international Welbeck and first team squad members at Old Trafford Ben Amos and Oliver Gill.
“We always look forward to this game,” said Ipswich academy director Sammy Morgan.
“It gives our lads a big test and gives our fans a chance to see what we have coming through the system.
“I started these matches when I was with Norwich City in 2001, and when I moved to Ipswich Bryan Klug wanted me to bring the good things that had gone on at Carrow Road.
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“I’m proud that Manchester United remain keen to come back every year and it’s always a good occasion.
“For some it might prove to be the pinnacle of their football lives. For others it could set them on the road to stardom.”
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Ipswich have brought boys over from Ireland for the game including brothers Elvin and Cory Galvin.
Manchester United’s Under-15 and 16 head coach Tommy Martins said: “This annual fixture has been a great success for both clubs.
“It is an ideal opportunity for the boys to play at a major stadium, as this is a very different atmosphere to what they are used to, when playing in normal academy games.
“It’s an excellent learning curve for all the players.”
Ipswich players who have played in this match and gone on to play in the first team include: Tom Eastman, Jamie Griffiths, Jack Ainsley, Jordan Rhodes, Connor Wickham, Billy Clark and Ronan Murray.
There will be a ‘Festival of Football’ for fans to watch tomorrow with the staging of the ITFC Development Cup with youngsters from around the region competing for silverware at Under-10 and Under-12 age groups in small sided games played on the fieldturf.
The finals will take place on the main pitch before Town take on United. This competition gets underway at 11.00am with admission to the main game �5 adults and �1 children.
Ipswich squad: Ted Bishop, Peter Burke, George Clarke, Matthew Clarke, Billy Curson, Ed Ellis, George Fowler,
Cory Galvin, Elvin Galvin, Nick Ingram, Fiacre Kelleher, Benyu Kundai, Byron Lawrence, Alex Luque, Jacob Marsden, Henry Okosi, Cemal Ramadan, Joe Robinson, Matthew Rose, Ollie Smith, Jack Willbye.
Manchester United squad: Benjamin Barber, Joshua Brownhill, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Elliot Chadderton, Callum Evans, Ashley Fletcher, Joshua Harrop, Nicolas Ioannou, Otis Khan, Matthew Musialowski, Alexander Naylor, Devonte Redmond, Joe Riley, Michael Starkey, Benjamin Whiteman, James Wilson.