Town kids get taste of the big time

THE stars of the future will be on show at Portman Road next week when a young Blues side entertain Manchester United.Sammy Morgan's Under-14s get the chance to play on the big stage as part of their development but, as the former Aston Villa and Northern Ireland star points out, the Reds will be just as excited.

By Derek Davis

THE stars of the future will be on show at Portman Road next week when a young Blues side entertain Manchester United.

Sammy Morgan's Under-14s get the chance to play on the big stage as part of their development but, as the former Aston Villa and Northern Ireland star points out, the Reds will be just as excited.

Morgan said: “This is huge for the young lads. Some of these will go on to be scholars and then in time make the first team. Last year, when the Under-16s played Manchester United, we had the likes of Jordan Rhodes, Jai Reason and Curtley Williams, who have played in the reserves, and, of course Jordan has even been named in first-team squads.


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“It would be unfair to name anyone but we have identified a couple who have a very good chance of going a long way.

“It is also a big thing for the Manchester United youngsters because they don't get a sniff of Old Trafford.”

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It is all part of the development for the young players, who played in front of an appreciative audience in Holland recently.

Morgan said: “We took a group of under-13s to Feyenoord last week and, even though we lost 1-0 to a free-kick, it was a great experience for them. It was in the main stadium before Feyenoord lost to Gronigen.

“All these experiences help the kids move on. It also shows what a good standing the Ipswich Academy has in the football community all across Europe.

“My contacts have been built up over the years and, after playing a couple of seasons in Holland, I was able to use my contacts.”

The youngsters have also recently competed in the Nike Tournament at Warwick University.

The idea to bring Manchester United's young bloods to Ipswich came through Morgan's contact with their under-16 coach Mark Dempsey and the Academy coaches Brian McClair and Paul McGuinness.

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