Town's new boy is one of a dying breed
GENUINE wingers are a rarity in the English game these days but Geordie whiz-kid Martin Brittain is looking to show they are not a dying breed.The 21-year-old, from the hot bed of footballing talent that is the north-east, loves nothing more than to go past defenders and cross the ball into the box and those who know him well say that is exactly what he is capable of doing.
By Derek Davis
GENUINE wingers are a rarity in the English game these days but Geordie whiz-kid Martin Brittain is looking to show they are not a dying breed.
The 21-year-old, from the hot bed of footballing talent that is the north-east, loves nothing more than to go past defenders and cross the ball into the box and those who know him well say that is exactly what he is capable of doing.
Recommended by no less than Sir Bobby Robson, who gave him his debut for Newcastle in March 2004, Brittain has shown his worth to the Blues' coaching staff and done enough to win a one-year contract.
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A right-footed player with pace and ability to cross, Brittain is looking to give the Blues some much-needed width on the right.
He added: “I'm hoping to give the team something they don't have at the moment. If I can get in the team and play then hopefully I can help them get a few points on the board.
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“I prefer to play on the right-wing but I can play anywhere in the midfield. As long as I'm playing, I'm happy.”
Brittain hails from the former pit village of Cramlington, a few miles down the road from Ashington, which is famed for the Charlton brothers and Jackie Milburn.
He graduated through the Newcastle United Academy and forced his way into a star-studded team where the likes of Nobby Solano, Lauren Robert, Darren Ambrose and Kieron Dyer have competed for the same position as Brittain.
After being released by Glenn Roeder in the summer, Brittain had spells with a couple of Championship club including Hull City and Coventry City before coming to Portman Road.
He even played for Hull against the MK Dons in pre-season so it was ironic that another visit there, this time with the Blues reserves, should clinch him a deal.
Brittain said: “This is a big opportunity for me. I came from a huge club at Newcastle but Ipswich is a big club as well and, hopefully, I will get a few games under my belt here.
“Sir Bobby gave me my debut in the UEFA Cup and I had a few sniffs after that but not as much as I would have liked.”
The quietly-spoken youngster has fitted in well very quickly and revealed he had picked up a few tips before arriving in Suffolk from some good friends of the club from up north.
He said: “Titus (Bramble) and Kieron (Dyer) both said what a great club it was and what a good set of lads that are here.”
“Charlie Woods brought me down here and he and Sir Bobby said what a good club it is. Although Newcastle are in the Premiership, and Ipswich in the Championship, the facilities are very similar.”
After his debut in the UEFA Cup, Brittain made his Premiership bow as a substitute against Manchester City.
Altogether he made eight appearances for United, and started in the FA Cup win over Mansfield earlier this year.
Brittain hopes to make his Blues' debut tonight at Peterborough United, a team that gave the Magpies a run for the money in the FA Cup four years ago.