"It's every kid's dream' - Downes on making history as Town captain
PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 December 2019
Flynn Downes says it's been a boyhood dream to captain Ipswich Town.
The 20-year-old became the youngest player in the club's history to wear the armband when skippering the team against Coventry on successive weekends.
"I love it! I absolutely love it!" enthused the Essex-born midfielder, who has been at the Blues since the age of seven. "It's a real honour. For the gaffer to put his trust in me is unbelievable.
"It was on the morning of the game I got it sprung on me. I didn't know what was going on! I was just sat there and he went 'you're captain'. I was like 'alright'.
"I didn't know what was going on the first time I did it. When it was time to go and see the referee and exchange team-sheets, Stu (Taylor, assistant manager) said to me 'come on then' and I thought he wanted me to go out and look at the pitch with him! This is kind of new to me, but I love it."
He continued: "It's nice, it's an honour. I mean it's every kid's dream, do you know what I mean? As a seven-year-old training at the academy, if you'd have said I'd be captaining the first team in 12 years time I would have bit your hand off. It is a real honour and a pleasure."
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Asked how his team-mates had responded to his leadership, Downes laughed: "They've all been taking the p*** really, saying 'come on skip!' No, look we've got a few leaders in there. You could give the armband to any of them really. They all supported me when the gaffer said I had it.
"It doesn't really change my game. I suppose you've got to be more vocal, but it hasn't changed things massively for me. It's just an armband at the end of the day.
"Obviously I haven't got the best history when it comes to referees, getting booked usually every game, but this is new to me and I'm still learning. Hopefully I can get better at it."
Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse remain captain and vice-captain at the club, but there may be an opening for Downes to take on the role in the near future given the aforementioned duo's advancing years.
Lambert said: "You're never quite sure if people can handle the captaincy. Whether he takes it on further in his career, nobody knows. It's a lot of responsibility.
"If you ask me 'can he do it?', I've got no doubt he can do it."