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Young ITFC players out on loan at non-league clubs. A good or bad thing?

Jack Lankester and Harry Wright, both had loans at non-league clubs, while at Town. Picture: ARCHANT

Jack Lankester and Harry Wright, both had loans at non-league clubs, while at Town. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

There are a surprising number of young Ipswich Town players out on loan – at non-league clubs. Is it such a bad thing? JOE FAIRS thinks not.... We welcome your posts.

Town fan Joe Fairs and his son Teddy - at Portman Road, obviously! Photo: CONTRIBUTEDTown fan Joe Fairs and his son Teddy - at Portman Road, obviously! Photo: CONTRIBUTED

For all the criticism and bad press teams like Manchester City and Chelsea receive for how large their squads are, it may surprise many Ipswich Town fans to know that as a club we currently have more than 10 players out on loan, and there have been more than 10 complete loan spells out of the club earlier in the season.

There are the higher profile loans into the EFL, or to professional clubs abroad (Sweden and Scotland for Aaron Drinan this season), but the vast majority of these loans are into the non-league with the main ones being to Steps 3, 4 and 5.

This has been something the club has looked to do previously, but often it felt as though this was just the first step out of the door for young players who were likely to be released - those players who were getting very limited minutes in the U18s, and unlikely to sign professional contracts.

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But since Jack Lankester and Brett McGavin had a very successful spell at Bury Town at the back end of the 2017-18 season these loans seem to have been viewed in a different manner.

There are of course still players out on loan who are very likely to be released in the summer, but the likes of Tommy Smith (Bury Town), Zak Brown (Leiston) and Kai Brown (Recently returned from East Thurrock United) have all signed long term contracts and will have gained vital experience from their spells in men's football.

Ipswich Town are fortunate to have a number of well-run non league clubs on their doorstep, and building mutually beneficial arrangements with regards to loan players is hopefully something that can continue in the interest of everyone over the coming seasons.

- We welcome posts from readers. E-mail mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

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