Youngsters should follow my lead – Smith

TOMMY Smith has urged his young team mates to learn by his example and go out on loan to impress Paul Jewell.

After the Blues were unceremoniously dumped out of the Carling Cup, the lack of opportunities for some of Jewell’s fringe players have significantly reduced.

With reserve matches virtually played on an ‘as and when’ basis after Town pulled out of the Football Combination East Division, the Town boss might look to ship some players out on loan.

But for the likes of Ronan Murray, Shane O’Connor and maybe even Luke Hyam, this doesn’t have to spell the end of their Ipswich career, according to Smith, who has been out on loan at three different clubs since moving to Portman Road.

The New Zealand international said: “It definitely helped me out. Before I played a first team game for Ipswich, I went out on loan, got that competitive edge and it definitely held me in good stead and I came back firing.

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“I recommend the young players who are not involved in the first team squad to go out and get that experience as it will definitely benefit them for the future.

“You will get Ipswich scouts go and watch the games and if you are impressing, there is no reason why you can’t come back and be involved here.”

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And Smith’s manager has also given his backing to some of his fringe players gaining experience elsewhere.

Jewell said: “I think the players learn more going out, certainly the young players, finding out what it is like in the real football world.

“Our facilities are Premier League and not everywhere is like this. The likes of Ronan, when he went out on loan to Torquay, really enjoyed himself and it was a bit of an eye-opener for him. But it gives those players, I’m hoping, a hunger to succeed at this level.”

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