Good-sized crowd expected tonight
YOUNGER members of the Ipswich Town Academy are looking forward to appearing in front of a good-sized crowd when Manchester United play at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.
By Elvin King
YOUNGER members of the Ipswich Town Academy are looking forward to appearing in front of a good-sized crowd when Manchester United play at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.30pm).
But it will be nothing like the numbers the Town's under-13's played in front of when they made an Easter holiday visit to Holland.
The match took place before Feyenoord met Gronigen in a top flight Dutch League clash - with 40,000 fans in the stadium.
“Our lads lost 1-0,” said Sammy Morgan, who is the Ipswich Town head of education. “But they played their part in a great game and received a wonderful ovation.”
Morgan has played a big part in Manchester United sending a youth side to Portman Road for the second year running.
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Around 2,000 watched last season's under-16 match and Morgan is hoping to improve on that for the game billed at under-14 level tonight.
“I have built up relationships over the last 27 years in youth football development,” added Morgan.
“There is a mutual respect between Manchester United and us - and I know that the United youngsters are looking forward to the night.
“While it is nice for our lads to play at Portman Road, it is also a big occasion for the United lads to play at a stadium like Portman Road. They will value the occasion.
“Development football is not all about winning, but results always matter, and I am sure the game will be a very competitive one, with a number of very promising youngsters on view.”
Tonight's match will be played over two 40 minute halves with players aged 14 and 15 making up the sides.
Jordan Rhodes scored a hat-trick as Town hit six last season.
There is a crowd limit of 5,000 with admission priced at £5 for adults, £3 concessions and £1 for under-16's.