Tristan Nydam and Ipswich Town academy peers keen to build on encouraging Crystal Palace display
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Tristan Nydam and his academy peers got a taste of the big time on Tuesday, and are keen to rub shoulders with the elite more often.
The 17-year-old midfielder filled in at left-back at Crystal Palace, in the 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat, and was one of several youngsters who impressed at Selhurst Park – manager Mick McCarthy handing seven players their senior debuts in south London.
Nydam has already shown glimpses of his talent this season, in the wins at Barnsley and Luton – alongside fellow youngster Flynn Downes – and was happy with his latest outing against a Palace side featuring internationals such as Yohan Cabaye, Jeffrey Schlupp and the hosts’ two-goal saviour, James McArthur.
“I wasn’t that nervous to be honest (against Palace), there was no pressure on us, we just had to go out and enjoy ourselves and impress the gaffer (McCarthy),” said Nydam, who was up against Dutch international Patrick Van Aanholt for much of the game.
“We were up against full internationals who have got loads of Premier League experience and we did well.
“We showed the fans, the gaffer, Terry Connor and the coaching staff that everyone is pushing for a place and it is a stepping stone for us all, we just have to keep our heads down and keep working hard.
“This (the Premier League) is the best league in the world and the game at Palace showed us what we have to do and how much work we need to put in to get to this stage.”
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The Zimbabwe-born teenager is a diminutive figure, but has shown no shortage of fight, fitness and determination during an impressive start to his Ipswich career.
He stuck to his task well on Tuesday, as did the rest of his team-mates, most of whom have come through the academy at Playford Road.
“The jump between the under-23s and the first-team is massive,” Nydam explained.
“The game at Luton was very physical but the league game at Barnsley was a massive step up.”
He added: “The two centre-backs (Pat Webber and George Fowler) were fantastic in the way they dealt with their strikers and they played the ball out from the back when they could.
“Ben Folami put himself about up front, against centre-halves with years of Premier League experience, and he did himself justice.”