Sky’s the limit for Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
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Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy believes the sky is the limit for teenage duo Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam.
Box-to-box midfielder Downes, 18, and the versatile Nydam, 17, have both burst on the scene during the early weeks of this season and added to their growing reputations in midweek as the youngest Blues side in history went down to a gallant 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Premier League side Crystal Palace.
The duo were both called up to the England Under-19 squad for the first time today and will be in the squad as Town aim to make it five straight league wins at the start of the season for the first time in the club’s history when Fulham visit Portman Road on Saturday.
“They are as good as any young players that I have worked with,” enthused McCarthy.
“I worked with Mark Kennedy and Ben Thatcher at Millwall and those two went on to be top players at top clubs.
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“Flynn and Tristan are as good as they were and that’s praise indeed because they were both really good players.”
He continued: “I remember getting my first cap for Ireland and returning to Manchester City feeling so much better about myself. For them to play for the first team and get into England squads will give them such a lift.
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“I didn’t get into an Ireland squad until I was 24 and ended up captaining them in a quarter-final and playing 57 times, so they’ve got six years on me to develop. They might be in the England team by then!”
McCarthy gave seven debuts to academy graduates in midweek. Lower down the age groups Zak Brown is with the England U16s and Dylan Crowe the England U17s, while the U15s recently beat Celtic to win the Hibernia Trophy in Dublin.
“It gives everybody satisfaction and enthuses the whole club when you get kids break through,” said McCarthy.
“I don’t think any of the senior lads rest on their laurels, but they might just look around when everyone is fit and know they’ll have to be right on it to keep their spot. All the midfield players must be thinking ‘if I drop my guard at all then Flynn Downes or Tristan Nydam are ready to take my place’.
“Myles Kenlock and Jonas (Knudsen) might be thinking the same about Tristan too having seen how well he played at left-back the other night.”