Garvan set for cup return
EX-IPSWICH star Neil Thompson will be out to remove his former club's grip on the FA Youth Cup tonight.Town begin their defence of the trophy they captured last season at Leeds, where Thompson is academy manager and in charge of the under-18 side.
By Mel Henderson
EX-IPSWICH star Neil Thompson will be out to remove his former club's grip on the FA Youth Cup tonight.
Town begin their defence of the trophy they captured last season at Leeds, where Thompson is academy manager and in charge of the under-18 side.
His Ipswich counterpart, Bryan Klug, said: “Neil is a good friend of mine and Ipswich Town, and he is doing an excellent job at Leeds. We know it is not going to be easy for us up there.”
Klug and his players travelled to Yorkshire yesterday afternoon for this evening's tough test under the Elland Road floodlights and against a table-topping team beaten just once in their last nine outings.
The game could mark a return to action for Irish midfielder Owen Garvan, who also has one eye on Saturday's first team clash with Wolves at Portman Road.
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Garvan, 17, was absent from the decisive second leg of last season's final against Southampton because he was in hospital following a meningitis scare.
He has missed Town's last seven games since picking up a nasty ankle injury in the home draw with Coventry which, when x-rayed, revealed a chipped bone.
Klug said: “Owen has trained for the last couple of days without any problems and although his main focus is on the game at the weekend he could feature for at least part of the game against Leeds.”
With Republic of Ireland youth international goalkeeper Shane Supple now ineligible, Icelandic youngster Oskar Petursson will be making his debut in the national competition which Ipswich have won on three occasions - in 1973, 1975 and 2005.
He has been nursing a thigh problem but Klug expects him to play, although Stowupland High School pupil Andy Plummer is standing by just in case.
Nine members of the Ipswich squad featured in last season's tournament, including Bury St Edmunds schoolboy Ed Upson, who scored the dramatic late winner against the young Saints.
Klug added: “We couldn't really have wished for a tougher start to our defence of the trophy, but at the same time we would much rather be going to a venue like Elland Road ahead of some of the others on offer.
“A number of last season's players are still eligible but there is a different balance to the team and while we improved steadily with each round last season, we are starting with a much more difficult challenge than we did at the same stage last year.”
IPSWICH SQUAD: Petursson, Plummer, Moore, Casement, Short, Ainsley, Haynes, Trotter, Garvan, Upson, Clarke, Knights, Robinson, Haverson, Leabon, Webster, Sheringham, Fenn and Boto.