Permanent peg in the dressing room, but Nydam knows hard work starts now
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town teenager Tristan Nydam says he has a long way to go before he considers himself a fully-fledged first team player.
The academy graduate – who turns 18 next month – has used his versatility to good effect, playing in a variety of roles for an injury-hit first team during the opening weeks of the campaign.
And with Tom Adeyemi now sidelined and Emyr Huws no nearer a comeback, he could get another chance to shine in Saturday’s Championship game at Sheffield United.
“My target is to make 10 starts for the first team this season and I’ve made five already,” said the Zimbabwe-born youngster, who moved to Colchester at the age of seven and was scouted by Ipswich at the age of nine.
“I am actually massively surprised that I have been involved so much this early, but I think I have taken it in my stride.
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“The gaffer has told the younger lads that we will be in and out the side this year. We’ve just got to make the most of every chance we get.
“Myself, Flynn (Downes) and Andre (Dozzell) all have a peg in the first team dressing room now. I won’t consider myself a first team player until I have 50 appearances though.”
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The diminutive left-footer took all free-kicks and corners on his senior debut at Barnsley. He said: “The gaffer putting his trust in me like that, and some of the nice things he has said about me in the press, is a massive boost to my confidence. I’ve just got to keep my head down and carry on improving to impress him and TC (assistant boss Terry Connor).
“I’m definitely at the right place to improve. This is a club that puts their trust in young players. I saw the likes of Andre (Dozzell), Myles (Kenlock) and Josh (Emmanuel) getting chances and could see there was a pathway there for me.
“I go away with England and hardly any of them are getting first team football with their clubs.”
Naming Steven Gerrard as his football role model and saying he sees his best position as central midfielder, he added: “As an Under-16 I went to centre-back for a while, which might come as a surprise to some people considering my height. I do like to give it out on the pitch and go for every ball. I’ve got to make up for my size don’t I!
“In my first training session with the first team, I was 16, and I went into a challenge with Tommy Smith. You have to do what you can to catch the eye.”