Seven academy graduates trying to catch the eye for Ipswich Town in pre-season
- Credit: �INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Seven Ipswich Town academy graduates have been heavily involved in pre-season so far. Stuart Watson profiles the youngsters coming through.
Age: 18 (DOB: May 15, 1999)
The 18-year-old is the son of former professional Damian Webber, who played at Millwall under Mick McCarthy’s management.
He was part of the Worthing team that made the third round of the FA Youth Cup in December 2015 and subsequently signed a two-year scholarship deal at with the Blues following a successful trial.
Primarily a left-back, his height means he may well end up as a centre-half. He was named on the bench when Town drew with Lincoln at Portman Road in the FA Cup third round last January, has trained with the first team regularly and signed a one-year professional deal back in June.
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Age: 19 (DOB: December 20, 1997)
The Chelmsford-born defender joined the club as a schoolboy in 2011 and, such was his size and ability, he became a regular for the Under-18s when he was still technically an U15.
That made him the first Town teenager to play up three age groups in the academy since star striker Connor Wickham, but a long-term injury stalled his development at a crucial stage.
The former Debenham High School pupil, who can also operate in midfield, signed a one-year pro deal last summer which has recently been extended by a further 12 months.
Age: 17 (DOB: November 6, 1999)
The diminutive left-footed midfielder was born in Zimbabwe but moved to Colchester at a young age and joined the Blues’ academy at the age of 10.
He caught the eye when handed a cameo display in a pre-season game at Cambridge United last summer, then signed a two-year professional deal on his 17th birthday in November.
Nydam was included in an England Under-18 squad in March and was put standby for the U20s ahead of the Toulon Tournament this summer, but has not ruled out representing Zimbabwe.
McCarthy has name checked Nydam on several occasions when asked about young prospects. Tenacious and technically sound, he can play in a number of positions and filled in at left-back for the recent friendly at Drogheda.
Age: 20 (DOB: December 9, 1996)
The New Zealand-born forward turned down a scholarship at a Chicago University to join the Town academy in 2013.
A right-footed player who likes to drift inside from the left, he was handed his first senior Kiwi call-up last summer and netted his first international goal, against the USA, in October.
He scored two goals in 13 appearances for National league side Braintree Town last season and has had his deal extended by 12 months.
Age: 18 (DOB: January 20, 1999)
Another central midfielder, but a very different type. The 18-year-old, still a second-year scholar, is an aggressive, tenacious player who has picked up a few red cards.
He hails from Brentwood, Essex and has been at the club since the age of seven. McCarthy put him on the bench for the final game of the season as Town lost 3-0 at Nottingham Forest.
“He’s got a really good chance,” said the Blues boss. “Technically he’s a very good footballer. He’s athletic, he puts his foot in and he’s a real competitor and winner. He shows no respect for the first-team in training. He comes and dumps them on their backsides if he needs to. I like that.”
Speaking after the recent friendly win in Ireland, McCarthy added: “I really like Flynn, He’ll contribute this season.”
Age: 18 (DOB: July 6, 1999)
The Colchester-born striker – who is capped at England U17 level – has been prolific at youth team levels and had a brief spell on loan at National League side Woking last season.
Speaking in May 2016, McCarthy said: “He’s not at first-team level, but we do think he’ll get there. He’s a good player.”
Age: 18 (DOB: October 21, 1998)
The Northern Ireland-born teenager – who is capped at U17 level – was recruited from Larne Youth two years ago. A livewire, direct-running winger, he’s just signed his first pro deal.