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Homegrown talent needs a fair chance in the first team, says ex-Ipswich Town boss George Burley

PUBLISHED: 16:56 20 July 2017

Homwgrown midfielder Flynn Downes, 18, has just signed a three-year contract with Ipswich Town after impressing in pre-season. Photo: PAGEPIX

Homwgrown midfielder Flynn Downes, 18, has just signed a three-year contract with Ipswich Town after impressing in pre-season. Photo: PAGEPIX

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Ex-Ipswich Town boss George Burley believes Mick McCarthy faces a simple decision regarding homegrown talent this season – either give them a fair chance to develop or send them out on loan.

The versatile Tristan Nydam, 17, has received plenty of praise from Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: PAGEPIX The versatile Tristan Nydam, 17, has received plenty of praise from Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: PAGEPIX

Burley – who gave Blues debuts to the likes of Kieron Dyer, Richard Wright, Titus Bramble and James Scowcroft in the ‘90s – is delighted to see the Playford Road production line working again.

Andre Dozzell, Myles Kenlock, Josh Emmanuel and Teddy Bishop have all made senior breakthroughs in recent years, while there’s new excitement surrounding the progress of the likes of Flynn Downes, Tristan Nydam and Ben Morris.

• Seven academy graduates looking to catch the eye this summer

Right-back Emmanuel, 19, has recently been loaned to League One side Rotherham United though and it remains to be seen how much game time the others will amass in 2017/18.

“Youth team players should be the lifeblood of any club, especially at a club like Ipswich where there are limited funds,” said Burley. “You can’t keep spending, spending, spending. You need three or four young players coming through every year to provide a platform to truly build and unfortunately that’s not been the case at Ipswich for the last 10 years.

“Sir Bobby Robson trusted in young players – I made my debut at 17, while Kevin Beattie made his aged 18. I then adopted that approach when I became a manager. As well as the ones here, I gave debuts to (Wilfried) Zaha (at Crystal Palace), (Tom) Huddlestone (at Derby), (Gareth) Bale, (Theo) Walcott and (Adam) Lallana (at Southampton).”

• The stats which show Ipswich Town trusted in youth more than most in the Championship

Bishop was a regular in the 2014/15 campaign as an 18-year-old before injuries struck. Kenlock, Emmanuel and Dozzell made 32 Championship starts between them last season, but Kenlock’s longest run of starts was seven (April), Emmanuel’s four (January), while Dozzell’s appearances were very intermittent.

Teddy Bishop was a regular for Ipswich Town in 2014/15, but has seen his progress halted by long-term injuries. Photo: PAGEPIX Teddy Bishop was a regular for Ipswich Town in 2014/15, but has seen his progress halted by long-term injuries. Photo: PAGEPIX

“They will be a little bit up and down to begin with and you have to be patient,” said Burley. “You have to work with them, round off those rough edges, give them their head and encourage them. If they do have a bad patch, then work with them through that period. If you believe in their talent, then you have to give them a fair chance.”

• Dozzell will be better for Euro U19 experience

Asked if he would have loaned out Emmanuel, Burley replied: “The manager has to make a decision – if he decides a young player isn’t going to be a regular, then it is definitely more beneficial, for all parties, that the player goes out on loan and gets game time.

“That’s especially the case when a player reaches 19/20 because it’s such a crucial time in their development.

Andre Dozzell scored on his Ipswich Town debut aged 16 and has made 11 senior appearances. Photo: PAGEPIX Andre Dozzell scored on his Ipswich Town debut aged 16 and has made 11 senior appearances. Photo: PAGEPIX

“Andre Dozzell is another one in that bracket. He’s had a very good summer with England (winning the European Under-19 Championships), but is he going to get regular game time? If the answer is no then he needs to go out on loan – simple as that.”

“We might not be the best, but we keep going. It’s an endearing quality we have.”

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