Young duo to be offered deals

TWO of Ipswich Town's budding stars are to be offered professional contracts later this month, writes Derek Davis.The Blues' flying Scotts, Mitchell and Barron, will both be offered deals after impressing in the reserves after successfully stepping up from the club's highly productive Academy.

TWO of Ipswich Town's budding stars are to be offered professional contracts later this month, writes Derek Davis.

The Blues' flying Scotts, Mitchell and Barron, will both be offered deals after impressing in the reserves after successfully stepping up from the club's highly productive Academy.

Town manager Joe Royle last night confirmed the offer was about to be made.

He said: “Both Scotts have done very well and fully deserve to be offered professional contracts.”


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Speaking in his first major interview, Mitchell told the EADT how he was ready for any first-team call-up.

The 18-year-old made his Town debut in a cameo appearance against Derby County at Pride Park last November when he went on in place of fellow debutant Sam Morrow in the 89th minute.

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He has also been an unused substitute twice this season but with Ipswich struggling in the full-back berth could well find himself called into senior action again soon.

He said: “Everyone aims to play first-team football and I'm relishing the opportunity and striving to achieve that.

“There is a long way to go for me as there are a lot of experienced players ahead of me but it would be terrific to be involved even more.

“It would be a challenge but I'm sure I'm up to it, there is only one way to find out really.”

Mitchell appeared to be treading water after doing well at under-17 level but has matured this season and has caught the eye with a string of strong displays in a number of positions.

He said: “I was not doing particularly well when Joe first came to the club but in the past few months I have really tried hard and have kicked on.

“The club are very good at protecting young players and bringing them through gradually but the cotton wool has to come off at some point.”

The Ely-born youngster arrived as a 10-year-old from Litteport Colts and went on to represent Cambridgshire at youth level.

Royle, who watched Mitchell skipper the reserves to a 2-0 win over Arsenal on Monday, said: “Scott showed he has yet another string to his bow by playing wing-back so well. He can play right-back or in the holding role in midfield and has done well each time.”

Mitchell put the strong team performance down to team-building exercises with the RAF, organised by former airman Simon Thadani, the club's fitness coach.

He said: “We have been doing a lot of morale-boosting work which include running with benches in the forest. It is all about team exercises and against Arsenal it really helped.”

Preston-born Barron has been converted from a left-winger to a left-sided defender and has put in a number of impressive performances for the reserves and is another on the cusp of the first-team squad.

Barron joined the club as an 11-year-old and was coached by former Town player Kevin Ellis.

Both Scotts were recruited by Malcolm Moore from Cambridgeshire clubs.

Meanwhile, Third Division Leyton Orient have taken Town youngster Erdem Artun on a two-week trial period.

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