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Ambrose in player of year race

PUBLISHED: 16:04 17 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:45 03 March 2010

DEPARTED star Darren Ambrose is firmly in the running for the Ipswich fans' Player of the Year award.

The 19-year-old Newcastle midfielder was sacrificed for a giveaway £1 million last month as hard-up Town desperately needed to bring in much-needed cash.

DEPARTED star Darren Ambrose is firmly in the running for the Ipswich fans' Player of the Year award.

The 19-year-old Newcastle midfielder was sacrificed for a giveaway £1 million last month as hard-up Town desperately needed to bring in much-needed cash.

But that hasn't stopped some supporters registering their vote in favour of Ambrose, who netted 11 goals in 37 appearances for Ipswich this season.

The main bulk of Ipswich fans will have the opportunity to cast their votes at tomorrow's home clash with Portsmouth.

But official supporters' club branches dotted around the country have already been polled - and Ambrose figures prominently.

If he does scoop the accolade it will be the first time it has gone to a player no longer with the club.

Supporters' club official Paul Voller admitted: "It could happen. Without giving too much away, he has plenty of admirers.

"There are a number of candidates, of course, but Darren Ambrose is definitely one of them and I wouldn't rule him out as a potential winner any more than I would the other Town players."

Harlow-born youth product Ambrose shone like a beacon in the early part of the current campaign, eventually graduating to England Under-21 honours along with pal Darren Bent.

And even though new boss Joe Royle used him sparingly, he made a huge impact with a number of stunning goals or assists after coming on as a substitute.

Ambrose has said he plans to attend the annual Player of the Year event, to be staged at Portman Road on April 27, regardless of who wins.

Mark Venus' successor will collect his trophy before the home game against Wimbledon the previous day.

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson is anxious to have a look at Ambrose at the earliest possible opportunity.

He admitted: "Had he been fit, Darren would have played in our recent game at Everton."

Both Nobby Solano and Hugo Viana were absent through injury at Goodison, but Ambrose was also ruled out with a thigh problem and has not trained for the past five weeks.

Although Ambrose's move went through outside the official transfer window, Ipswich's unwanted status as a club in distress means he could still figure this season.

Newcastle have written permission from the Premier League to field him if they wish and it an opportunity of which Sir Bobby would like to take advantage, fitness permitting.


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