‘Young Joe’s signing sends out the right message’ - Jewell
FORMER Copleston School pupil Joe Whight’s smile lit up Paul Jewell’s office when the 17-year-old was called in by the Ipswich Town manager this week.
The defender, who has one more year left as a scholar, was given a two-year professional contract.
It made a welcome change for Jewell, who apart from ensuring that Town finish the season on a high note is also battling with the traumatic situation of having 21 players going out of contract in the summer.
“I called Joe in and he was absolutely petrified,” said Jewell.
“He thought he was on for a rollicking.
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“But I offered him a professional contract, and the delight on his face was something to behold.
“As terrible as seeing the kids when you break the news that you are not going to be able to keep them, to see his face light up was a picture.
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“We have got a decent academy, and it’s nice to see some decent lads coming through.
“Joe’s signing sends out a message that if you are doing well then we are going to reward you.
“He’s done well in training, for the youth team and the reserves.
“I could have waited until next summer to make a decision on him, but he has done well enough and I want him to start thinking like a professional and training with the professionals.
“He was elated and his mum and dad were made up.
“Joe will have peaks and troughs, but I don’t want him just to be making up the numbers but to be pushing because along with Connor Wickham and Josh Carson he is good enough.”
As expected Pablo Counago and Kevin Lisbie, who have been out on loan all season, will not be offered new deals in the summer, and Jewell also confirmed that Alan Quinn will be leaving Portman Road having failed to kick a ball in earnest after suffering a groin injury last July.
Quinn was back at the training ground yesterday after spending four days in hospital following problems that accompanied a recent groin operation.
“Alan suffered an infection, and he’s been in a hospital in Leicester getting it drained,” said Jewell. “He has been in a lot of pain and he was quite ill.
“Like all the other players, who we are going to release, we want to try and do as much as we can to help Alan move on.
“He’s a terrific lad, maybe its just time for him to try something else.”