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Wales Under-21 boss Geraint Williams keeping a close eye on Elliott Hewitt’s progress at Ipswich Town

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 December 2012

Elliott Hewitt

Elliott Hewitt

Archant

THERE was one man in Ipswich particularly pleased to see Elliott Hewitt make his Blues debut at the weekend.

Wales Under-21 boss Geraint Williams still has a house in the town and has been keeping close tabs on the progress of the Rhyl-born 18-year-old after he made the move to Portman Road in the summer.

A host of Premier League clubs – including the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea – were tracking the athletic young right-back last season following his rise to prominence in a Macclesfield Town side that were ultimately relegated from League Two.

The need for double hip surgery meant top-level interest dropped off though and former Town boss Paul Jewell was able to get him for just £150,000.

And following a lengthy rehabilitation period, the teenager – who made his Football League debut at the age of 16 and was soon fast-tracked to the Wales Under-21 squad – came off the bench in the 88th minute of Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Millwall.

“He’s a player that is very much on my radar,” said Williams. “I’ve watched the DVDs of his games with our Under-21s when Bryan Flynn was in charge and I was impressed. We’ve had him playing well above his age group for some time because we wanted to test the natural athleticism that he has.

“I was at Playford Road to watch his first game back after his operation, against Swansea’s Under-21s, alongside Mick McCarthy. I think it’s fair to say we were both pleased with what we saw, especially as he had been out for so long.”

He continued: “I’ve spoken to Elliott at the training ground a couple of times now and I’ve been impressed by his attitude. He’s so enthusiastic about the game and just loves playing.

“He’s a young man and it’s important we don’t heap too much expectation on him, but he’s got an awful lot of attributes. He’s really looking forward to proving himself to myself and Mick – and we’re both hopeful he can do that.”

Former Macclesfield boss Gary Simpson said: “We took Elliott on after he was released by Wrexham and could see very quickly that he was a bright prospect. We gave him his debut at 16, but, to be honest, I wanted to play him before that.

“He was tremendous for us during a difficult period and there were a number of Premier League clubs looking to spend some serious money on him before the hip problems.

“In my opinion, Ipswich have got themselves a real bargain. He’s a really grounded, level-headed lad with all the attributes to make it to the very top.”

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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