Town kids get starring role

SENSATIONAL young keeper Shane Supple will round off an incredible week by joining his successful team-mates in triumphantly parading the FA Youth Cup around Portman Road tomorrow.

By Derek Davis

SENSATIONAL young keeper Shane Supple will round off an incredible week by joining his successful team-mates in triumphantly parading the FA Youth Cup around Portman Road tomorrow.

Bryan Klug's charges will hope to inspire the first team with the lap of honour before they take on Crewe in a crunch Championship clash. For an exhilarated but exhausted Supple, it will be the perfect way to cap the best week of his young life.

After producing a number of saves over the two-legged final, including a wonder double-stop to keep Southampton out at Portman Road, Supple played a major part in securing the cup victory, with 15-year-old schoolboy Edward Upson hitting an extra-time winner.


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Supple was then whisked up to Yorkshire by Academy director Klug to take his place on the bench at Elland Road and received marvellous applause from Town fans before the 1-1 draw with Leeds United.

The Dubliner, who has been tipped for great things, then kept a clean sheet for Town reserves against Norwich at Carrow Road on Wednesday but the icing on the cake, will be a well-deserved trot around the pitch in front of almost 30,000 appreciative fans tomorrow.

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The 17-year-old said: “Parading the cup will be great for the lads and a way of saying thanks to the fans. It was hard to come down from winning the cup but there was no better game than a local derby against Norwich to get back playing in again so soon after the final.

“I was very tired after the night before but it was nice to be involved with the first team. The fans' reception was wonderful and that was brilliant for me and made the trip worthwhile.

“It has been exciting and busy week. It was great to win the Youth Cup last week but it was back to business straight away.”

Supple was spotted by Town's Irish scouts Larry Fox and Joe Martin paying for the famous Home Farm club in Dublin and turned down offers from Aston Villa and Everton to join Ipswich.

With Lewis Price expected to go out on loan next season, it is probable that Supple will be number two to Kelvin Davis. But beyond planning to celebrate his 18th birthday next month and spending time with dad Brendan, mum Valerie and brother Declan, Supple is not looking too far ahead, although this season will take some beating.

He said: “We have two reserve team games left so we will see what happens there. I have not seen my family much so it will be nice to go home to Ireland and have a holiday. Then it will be back next season and I hope it can be just as good.”

PFA Championship award-winning keeper Davis will resume in goal tomorrow after missing the Leeds game to be at the birth of his second child.

Fabian Wilnis suffered a sore ankle scare on Wednesday but is fine and will train today. David Unsworth also hopes to train today after picking up an ankle injury. If he doesn't make it, Drissa Diallo is ready to slot in at full-back, although Town could also go to a three at the back using wing-backs.

Some cash turnstiles will be open on the day with 26,800 tickets already sold.

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