Luke Hyam insists the future’s bright for Ipswich Town

Ainsley Maitland-Niles pulls a goal back at Portsmouth with a long range strike

Ainsley Maitland-Niles pulls a goal back at Portsmouth with a long range strike

Luke Hyam insists the future’s bright at Portman Road, despite a young Ipswich Town side’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

The home-grown midfielder took the captain’s armband for the 2-1 third round replay defeat at Fratton Park, as he led an Ipswich squad which included eight players aged 20 or under and a host of players on the fringes of Mick McCarthy’s first team.

While the Blues struggled to match their battle-hardened League Two opponents for much of the game, Hyam insisted the likes of Josh Emmanuel, Myles Kenlock and Paul Digby will have learnt a lot, as they look to follow in his footsteps and make the jump from the club’s youth set-up to the first team.

He said: “It’s a difficult night playing against a very good team, but the likes of Myles (Kenlock) and Josh (Emmanuel) will only benefit from this experience and I think they have a great future ahead of them.

“They will only push on from here because they’re only young lads.


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“Coming from youth team football to under 21s football and then into first team football is a massive transition and it’s not easy for anyone coming into it, but they’ll take many experiences from this game and beyond.

“We’ve got a great academy down at Ipswich and there are a number of young players who are showing a lot of talent, which only bodes well for the future.

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“I know there are a few young players who play for England at the club, although I haven’t seen much of them because I’ve been out injured, but a few of the lads like Andre (Dozzell) have trained with the first team and are getting rave reviews from the coaching staff.”

Although he ended up on the losing side, Hyam insisted leading out his hometown club for the first time will always be a proud moment, before switching his focus to securing a regular spot in McCarthy’s Championship side.

“I’m very proud and very honoured to captain the side, I’ve always dreamed about it from a young age and for it to happen is a proud moment for myself,” he said.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the result though, which is the main thing.

“I feel sharper and sharper each game and hopefully I can keep that going and push into the team.

“The whole starting eleven have been brilliant throughout the season and it’s not going to be easy for anyone, but everyone works together in the same way and we can only just push each other on.”

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