‘You have to earn the right to be in the squad photo’ – Taylor on omission of young quintet

Idris El Mizouni and Armando Dobra were left out of Ipswich Town's squad photo. Picture: STEVEWALLER

Idris El Mizouni and Armando Dobra were left out of Ipswich Town's squad photo. Picture: STEVEWALLER/RICHARDBLAXHALL - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town assistant manager Stuart Taylor has explained why five young Blues players were left out of the club’s official 2020/21 photo shoot.

Ipswich Town players spell out the letters NHS at their squad photo shoot. Photo: ITFC

Ipswich Town players spell out the letters NHS at their squad photo shoot. Photo: ITFC - Credit: Archant

The EADT and Ipswich Star reported that Idris El Mizouni, Armando Dobra, Aaron Drinan, Corrie Ndaba and Brett McGavin had been told they were not going to be involved in Thursday’s session at Portman Road – both for the socially distanced group picture and for individual head shots.

Dobra and El Mizouni both played around an hour for the Under-23s in a game at Playford Road on Friday and then both came on as subs in Saturday afternoon’s 1-0 friendly defeat at Cambridge. McGavin started the match, while Ndaba also came on.

“We were always going to involve some of them in the Under-23s yesterday just to get their minutes up,” said Taylor.

“I think what was printed in the paper was a whole lot of lies. Where that’s come from who knows?

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“They were left out of the photo purely because they are young kids. It happens at every football club across the world.

“I just think it’s disappointing. It was reported that they turned up at Portman Road (for the photo shoot), which wasn’t the case. It was said the manager pulled them out of it, which wasn’t the case.

“Nobody turned up at Portman Road and wasn’t in the photo. So I find it disappointing that those lies went out there because it makes the lads feel in an awkward situation.

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“They were told the situation, they understood it, they were totally fine with it. They were also told they would be involved in the first team game on Saturday, so to say they were pulled out of the first team... It’s a shame because we’re all trying to pull together.

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“That’s something the manager has done since he’s come to the football club, he’s tried to get the supporters and the community together and we want everybody pulling in the same direction to get success.

“Somebody is obviously working against that and, as a supporter, I wouldn’t be happy that somebody has put that in the papers.

“Maybe you want to let the supporters know who’s working against the football club? Because I wouldn’t be happy if I was paying my season ticket money and somebody is being disruptive like that.”

Ndaba and El Mizouni were both included in the official squad photo last summer, while Dobra and El Mizouni – who made 17 senior appearances for the Blues between them last season – were recently among the players handed squad numbers for the forthcoming campaign.

Taylor continued: “The reason for the young kids not being in the photo is that you have to earn the right to get into things like the team photo. It’s as simple as that.

“If we turned around and said anybody who had made a first team appearance would be in it then there would have been about 40 in the team photo. The guy taking it would have had to stand at the Copdock roundabout to take it because there would have been that many in it.

“This is a football club that does believe in the young kids, we want them to go and progress and develop and we do it right. They do all get chances, like today, like in all the pre-season games. They’ve all had that chance to develop their careers.

“But there are things they are not ready for and it’s as simple as that. There’s nothing untoward. It’s as straight forward as that. They need to earn the right to achieve certain things, like training with the first team, then being in the first team squad, then making an appearance. It happens everywhere.

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“It’s about keeping players hungry. It’s about making sure they’ve got that motivation to play games this year, try harder and get in the first team photo next season.

“I think a lot of kids these days get too much too soon and they lose that desire and they lose that hunger. I’m not saying those kids are like that, but it’s still nice to leave something there for them to be hungry for and that desire for.

“Brett McGavin has trained with the first team so much, though he’s maybe not made that many appearances for various reasons. Corrie Ndaba has been up training with the first team practically from the day we walked through the door, he’s one the gaffer targeted straight away and took out the 23s, but it’s harder to put a centre-back in than a centre-forward. Everybody knows that.

“Going up and down form the Under-23s is part of the development and part of the progression. There’s no issues with anything to do with any of that. If they are good enough they are old enough and they’ll play.”

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