Video: Beefed up Teddy Bishop is ready to really make his mark at Portman Road this season

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and assistant Terry Connor, pictured during the pre-season traini

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and assistant Terry Connor, pictured during the pre-season training camp in Ireland. Photo: Gregg Brown - Credit: Gregg Brown

Ipswich Town starlet Teddy Bishop is hoping to have a big impact this season following his highly-encouraging breakthrough campaign.

The talented 18-year-old midfielder burst onto the scene in the 1-1 draw at Derby last August and didn’t look back, earning plenty of plaudits – and catching the eye of several Premier League scouts – along the way.

Carefully managed by manager Mick McCarthy, the academy graduate made 25 starts and 11 substitute appearances and only finished a full match once as he adapted to the physicality and intensity of Championship football.

He’s spent the summer working hard in the gym though and, no longer feeling like the new boy, is ready to really make his mark as the Blues aim to improve on last season’s sixth place finish.

Reflecting on his whirlwind 12 months, he said: “This time last year I wasn’t even selected for the pre-season trip to Ireland. I ended up joining up with the squad out there a few days later after a couple of lads got knocks.

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“I was hoping to be in and around the first team set-up at that time, but, if I’m honest, I didn’t expect to play as many games as I did. The manager and T (Terry Connor) were great with me and now it’s time to repay them.”

He continued: “We had a summer programme and I’ve been trying to beef up a bit because that will help my game a lot. I’m still trying to get stronger and hopefully that will show.

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“Hopefully I can start playing 90 minutes regularly now. It was a big step up going from youth team football to first team football, the intensity is so different, and the whole season was a learning curve for me. I feel I’ve learnt when to take less touches on the ball, when to take more touches on the ball; things like that.

“We want to create more and score more goals as a team this season. I want to do that more this season personally; have more assists and input in games.

“All our centre mids want to start in the first game against Brentford but obviously only two or three can, so we’ll be looking to catch the gaffer’s eye.”

The Cambridge-born teenager, who joined Town’s academy set-up at the age of eight, added: “I’m only 18 and I know I can’t rest on my laurels or let any praise go to my head.

“All of that is flattering, but I’m really happy here and know this is the best place for me to progress.

“I get a bit of banter still off the senior players, obviously being young, but that’s part and parcel of it and we like to give it back. You hear of other clubs where there might be big time lads that make the younger players feel uncomfortable, but that’s certainly not the case here.”

He added: “Losing (to Norwich) in the play-offs was obviously disappointing, but when you look back we had a good season so we take a lot of positives from that heading into this season.

“We finished sixth and the goal now has to be automatic promotion. We’ve got the players, we showed that last year, we’ve just got to show more consistency and hopefully we’ll be right up there.”

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