Youngsters hold key to the future

IPSWICH Town skipper Jason De Vos has called for the club's youngsters to grab a golden opportunity that awaits them.The Canadian international central defender was his usual dominant self in the three-match, six-day tour last week to Holland and Belgium despite suffering from a slight groin strain.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town skipper Jason De Vos has called for the club's youngsters to grab a golden opportunity that awaits them.

The Canadian international central defender was his usual dominant self in the three-match, six-day tour last week to Holland and Belgium despite suffering from a slight groin strain.

But he is aware that any Ipswich success this season is likely to depend on how the talented youngsters coming out of the club's famed Academy adapt to life in the Championship.


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“We will depend on our young players,” said De Vos. “We need two or three to step up a gear and make their presence felt in the first team.

“Shane Supple, Owen Garvan, and, to a lesser extent, Danny Haynes did it last season. We now want to see others show the same progress.”

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De Vos stresses that boys taken on by Ipswich from school are the luckiest around.

He said: “I make a point of telling them every day how fortunate they are.

“I remind them consistently what a golden opportunity they have with the quality of the coaches etc involved with Ipswich Town.

“They will realise when they leave how good a club Ipswich Town is.

“But for now they must work hard and make the most of the chances they have to become top players.”

De Vos looked back on three 1-1 draws on the continent as a worthwhile exercise.

“Performances might not have been what we hoped for, but we are still getting used to the new set-up,” he said.

“It was a productive exercise and we must not lose track of the fact that we played against two teams who play in the top divisions of their respective countries and Dordrecht play a slow build-up style that is different to what we will find in the Championship.”

IPSWICH Town are sending a side of mainly reserve and youth team players to Cambridge United for a fixture against the Conference side on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Players who will be substitutes in Friday night's match against Lazio at Portman Road may also be included.

Gavin Williams, Owen Garvan and Alan Lee were back in training yesterday when Ipswich staged a practice match at Portman Road to get used to the new surface that has been laid in the last couple of weeks.

The session went well and all three could be back in contention for the Lazio game after missing out on last week's tour to Holland and Belgium because of injury.

IPSWICH Town could be playing against former player James Scowcroft on the opening day of the new season.

Scowcroft is expected to sign for Crystal Palace after completing a medical, with the Londoners reported to be paying £500,000.

Coventry manager Micky Adams said: “James has been offered more money and feels it is something he wants to pursue.

“He has two years left on a deal here but I think £500,000, when I bought him in for nothing, is a fantastic deal.

“But I am disappointed. I have had James at two clubs now and he has done a fantastic job.”

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