Jack Marriott’s next step could be to join a Football League club on loan, says McCarthy

Jack Marriott celebrates his debut goal with his Woking team mates. PHOTO: Andy Nunn

Jack Marriott celebrates his debut goal with his Woking team mates. PHOTO: Andy Nunn - Credit: Archant

Don’t expect Jack Marriott to walk straight into the Ipswich Town team following his return from loan.

That’s manager Mick McCarthy’s message to Blues fans excited by the teenage striker’s impressive start to a one-month temporary spell at Skrill Premier side Woking.

The 19-year-old Blues academy product, who has been prolific at youth and reserve team level, has scored three goals in his opening three matches for the previously struggling top-flight non-leaguers.

McCarthy has previously said that he only allowed Marriott out for a month so that he could return to the Ipswich squad ready to push for a place over the busy Christmas period, but has now indicated that the youngster may benefit from another loan spell – next time to a League One or League Two club.

“He’s had more chances in three Woking games than all the Under-21 games he’s played in, most of them created for himself,” enthused McCarthy, who was present to see Marriott’s man-of-the-match debut against Dartford and has sent scout Ian ‘Taff’ Evans to the following two.

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“He was excellent in the first game and I’ve seen highlights of the others. He’s enjoying it, but let’s put it in perspective – it’s not Leicester and Blackpool.

“He’s doing what he was sent out to do, playing against fellas where points are at stake. There is a few quid at stake for those clubs, relegation and promotion. He’s doing great and we’re pleased for him.

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“Before we all get carried away though, it’s a hell of a difference (Championship to non-league). If he continues to do it at that level, maybe a League club might take a chance next time? That’s how you progress.”

McCarthy then went on to add: “The first goal he’s scored, he will score that against any team in the world. He’ll be up against better defenders of course, but he was on the move in the box and got a little nick on it to put it in the far corner. It was a terrific finish.

“His two goals against Hyde as well, any league in the world they would grace.”

Marriott was one of five academy players to be offered a one-year professional deal back in the summer and so far is the only one to have started talks over an extension, with left-back David October (on loan at Histon until January 2), striker Tom Winter, midfielder Jonny Leddy and winger Mark Timlin – who all live together – still looking to impress.

“We’ve had a discussion with Jack about a new deal, that was done before he went to Woking by the way, I told him six, seven weeks ago that we wanted to keep him,” said McCarthy.

“There’s no others yet. People say ‘how will the others feel?’ Well I hope they think ‘Jack’s been pulling his finger out, so maybe that’s what we need to be doing’.

“Kyle Hammond (another recent academy product) has been doing great and was in the squad with us at the weekend. Jack and Kyle’s progress are the benchmark for the others.”

The emergency loan window shuts on Thursday and McCarthy has said that he is unlikely to make any additions to his squad, with midfielder Anthony Wordsworth still available for a temporary switch away from the club after a move to Preston fell through recently.

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