Dean: I'll help get Town up

DEAN Bowditch is the man to lift Ipswich into the Premiership - whether he plays or not.The 18-year-old striker, who has many admirers among the ranks of top Premiership clubs, has committed his long-term future to the Blues.

DEAN Bowditch is the man to lift Ipswich into the Premiership - whether he plays or not.

The 18-year-old striker, who has many admirers among the ranks of top Premiership clubs, has committed his long-term future to the Blues.

Bowditch, who has graduated from the Ipswich academy, has signed a two-year extension to his contract that will keep him at Portman Road until June 2008.

And it has added to his burning desire to see his career prosper in the heady heights of the top flight.


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“I want to progress and Ipswich Town is a club where I can achieve that,” said Bowditch, who joined his Town team-mates on their mid-season sunshine break in Tenerife.

“The Premiership is the place we all want to be and we are in great position to win promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship.

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“If I cannot score the goals to take us up then I will do all I can to keep the pressure on Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi.

“Knowing that I am waiting in the wings will hopefully keep them on their toes and will keep the goals flowing.”

It was Bent who scored his 14th goal of the season as Ipswich drew 1-1 with Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Bent's 90th minute strike was cancelled out by an equaliser by Ivar Ingimarsson 30 seconds later, but Town still jetted off to the Canary Isles top of the table and in good spirits.

Bowditch, with three goals in 18 appearances this season, admits that he is frustrated at not making a Town start since November 21 at Sunderland and he has only come off the bench three times since.

“I can't knock that as Darren and Shefki have been playing so well,” added Bowditch.

“But it must be my aim to get back into the team and play some more football. The tempo of play in the Coca-Cola Championship is high and the Premiership suits some players better.

“There is more time to think and I feel I could benefit from that. It was a surprise when the club made their offer of a two-year contract extension, but I did not take any time to accept.

“Promotion would now round it all off and set me up for the next three years of my career.”

Town manager Joe Royle is delighted that Bowditch has committed himself to the club. Royle said: “He is one of the best young talents Ipswich Town has seen for many years and it is great news that he has pledged his future to the club.”

Ipswich have no match this weekend following their exit from the FA Cup at the third round stage.

They will be continuing training sessions while in the sun and be back in plenty of time to prepare for their next game at Sheffield United on February 5.

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