Comment: Klug, the star maker

It was a chilly spring evening in 2005, and the moment which Bryan Klug will regard as one of the best of his many years in football.

Sports comment.

It was a chilly spring evening in 2005, and the moment which Bryan Klug will regard as one of the best of his many years in football.

His Ipswich Town youngsters had just captured the FA Youth Cup, beating highly-fancied Southampton (Theo Walcott and all) in a two-legged final.

With 17,000 ecstatic Ipswich fans in full voice at Portman Road, the youngsters in blue and white paraded the trophy to all four sides of Portman Road on a well-deserved lap of honour.


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Where was the man who had masterminded this triumph against the odds? Who had run the club's academy with such distinction for so many years? Who had discovered and nurtured future internationals like Kieron Dyer, Richard Wright, and Darren Bent? And who had played an enormous part in financing the club by seeing such stars, and others sold for mega-money?

Klug stood quietly watching the presentation ceremony, before leaving the stage to his talented youngsters. He doesn't appear in the celebration pictures. It's just not his style. For Klug, that evening was a job well done. He was enormously proud of his boys. And he loved the evening - but in his own, quiet way.

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Bryan Klug is as far removed as is humanly possible from the brash, loudmouth image of so many of our so-called modern football heroes. He is quiet man, even self-effacing. But make no mistake: behind the mild-mannered exterior there is a highly competitive sportsman. He loves winning.

Most of all, he is one of the best youth coaches in Britain. His track record speaks for itself. Year after year, he has produced top quality young footballers - many of them future internationals. His achievements built the reputation of the Ipswich Town academy as one of the very best.

Now, after more than 30 years, he is moving on. His phone deserves to be red hot with offers from other football clubs. With his track record, and deserved reputation, he is likely to be much in demand.

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