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FA YOUTH CUP PREVIEW: Can Blues kids be first team stars?

PUBLISHED: 18:15 22 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:15 22 January 2013

Jack Marriott celebrates scoring a goal against Barnet.

Jack Marriott celebrates scoring a goal against Barnet.

Archant

THEY are the lifeblood of the club, the class of 2013, and could move one step closer to writing their own names into Portman Road folklore tonight.

Russell Osman’s talented crop of under-18 players travel to Pride Park to face Derby County (7pm kick-off) in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, all too aware of the names that have gone before them.

Osman is one of several on a spectacular list of names to have represented Town’s much-celebrated youth set-up, and twice won the competition as a youngster with the Blues.

Others include Alan Brazil, Eric Gates, John Wark, George Burley and more recently, James Scowcroft, Kieron Dyer and Darren Bent.

Now, the likes of Byron Lawrence, pictured, Jack Marriott, Michael Crowe and David October have the chance to further enhance the club’s reputation for producing young talent, impress Town boss Mick McCarthy, and set up a mouth-watering home clash with Manchester City in round five.

“Ipswich Town has a good reputation of performing well in the Youth Cup and the young players know that it means a lot to the club and is important,” said Osman, who, along with the players, will be based at the FA’s new home of football in Burton, St George’s Park, ahead of the game.

“They walk around the club and see the picture of the 2005-winning team on the wall. If they don’t know about the club’s history now, they never will.”

Town go into the game on the back of a 6-2 home defeat to Charlton in the U18 Premier League but boast a trio of forwards in Marriott, Mark Timlin and Tom Winter with goals in their locker.

Marriott has plundered 10 goals for the under-18s this season, as well as scoring four for the under-21s, while Winter has five and Timlin four (plus one for the U21s) this season.

“It’s quite difficult at the moment to gain a feel as to how the team is doing as some of the players are representing the under-21 team and we are seeing players from the under-16s moving up. It’s quite difficult to play a settled side,” said Osman.

“But I am quite happy and if we perform well as a team then we have a good chance of going through.

“But we also need our attacking players to be firing on all cylinders.

“I am sure one or two will be in Mick McCarthy’s thoughts and when the first-team has acquired enough points this season, then I am sure he will look at certain players a bit longer and harder.”

As for Derby, they will be without 17-year-old wonderkid and Rams’ first-team regular, Will Hughes, who has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

Hughes has made 31 appearances for the Rams this season, scoring twice, and also received his first England under-21 cap last year.

They will, however, be able to call upon the services of Mason Bennett, who at 15 years and 99 days became the Rams’ youngest-ever first-team debutant.

He is also the youngest player to have scored for Derby’s first-team, opening his account in the FA Cup win at home to Tranmere earlier this month.

Ipswich Town U18 Academy boss Alan Lee is hoping his young charges can keep up the proud Blues tradition of success in youth football, with victory against Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tonight, at Portman Road, 7pm ko.

Ipswich Town U23 3

QPR 0

Ben Morris hit a brace and Aaron Drinan opened his account in a blue shirt as an experienced Ipswich Town under 23 side eased past QPR 3-0 at Playford Road today, writes Kieren Standley.

FA Women’s Premier League

South East Division One

Ipswich Town 9

Haringey Borough 0

Ipswich Town Ladies bounced back from last Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup exit to Charlton with an emphatic 9-0 trouncing of bottom of the league Haringey Borough at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is set to appeal the red card given to Eunan O’Kane following his altercation with Jonas Knudsen.

Episode Six: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back for another episode of the Kings of Anglia podcast to discuss the win over Leeds, Portman Road atmosphere and the latest transfer news.

Bersant Celina revealed just how much the adulation of the Ipswich Town fans means to him after his latest match-winning effort.

It’s that kind of season. Just when everything seems to be miserable, and the fans’ anger is mounting, along comes a victory to lighten the mood. At least temporarily, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

Saturday was a much-needed day for Town fans, writes Karl Fuller.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and former Blues boss Roy Keane could be in direct competition for the Republic of Ireland job if Martin O’Neill is lured to Stoke City, according to the Irish Sun.

And so the heat is once again turned down on the bubbling pot of discontent.

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