Ipswich Town’s Jack Lankester: Striker admits spell in non-league proved ‘huge for me’

Jack Lankester, a spell in non-league did him no harm. Picture Pagepix

Jack Lankester, a spell in non-league did him no harm. Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town starlet Jack Lankester has enjoyed quite a footballing journey so far.

Jack Lankester celebrates his first-ever goal for the Blues. Photo: Steve Waller

Jack Lankester celebrates his first-ever goal for Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The 19-year-old forward, who recently signed a new contract until 2021, was a bright spot in a relegation campaign - making his Football League debut and scoring his first-ever senior goal for his beloved Blues.

Along the way there have been many positive role models.

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But he cites a spell in non-league for his hometown club of Bury Town as a major factor in his development.

Jack Lankester scores for Ipswich in the FA Youth Cup against Dagenham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jack Lankester scores for Ipswich in the FA Youth Cup against Dagenham. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Asked when he felt things really started to click for him on his academy journey, the teenager replies: "Probably towards the middle/end of the season before last, when the Youth Cup run started.

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"We beat Everton and then Dagenham - I scored two against Dagenham - and from there my confidence was up.

"I was then starting for the 23s and scoring for the 23s."

Ipswich Town player, Jack Lankester Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Town player, Jack Lankester Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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"Then there was a loan spell at home town club Bury Town in step four of the non-league pyramid. That was huge for me.

"Ipswich called me and Brett (McGavin) in and said 'we want you to go and play men's football'.

"We threw ourselves into it and tried to make the most of the opportunity.

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"Non-league was so different. I remember the first time someone passed me the ball I went to control it and the ball bobbled over my foot and out of play. Everyone was like 'whey!'

"The physical side of it helped me. People were clamping you straight away. You pick up ways of using your body and dealing with that side of things.

"It does make a difference when you are playing for something. When you are playing youth football there's not the same competitiveness.

"In non-league peoples' jobs are on the line. If they don't win it's like 'woah'. I like that part of it."

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