Joe has high hopes for Jaime
IPSWICH stars will have to prove themselves all over again if they win promotion to the Premiership, boss Joe Royle stressed today.Royle raved about the potential of teenage winger Jaime Peters, who scored to mark his first appearance since signing for Town.
IPSWICH stars will have to prove themselves all over again if they win promotion to the Premiership, boss Joe Royle stressed today.
Royle raved about the potential of teenage winger Jaime Peters, who scored to mark his first appearance since signing for Town.
The 17-year-old Canadian international was on target as Ipswich trounced Cambridge United 6-1 in a training ground friendly.
Royle said: “We have high hopes for Jaime, as we do all our young players, but we cannot make them any promises.
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“He will still have to prove it, week in and week out, as all the players will have to do next season. I would expect Jaime to come straight into our first team next season.
“But if and when we get to the Premiership, both he and everyone else will have to prove a point to me.”
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Peters's capture represented a tremendous coup as he chose Ipswich ahead of Premiership giants Chelsea and Manchester United.
But because he cannot play competitive football until he is 18 in May, he is in the bizarre situation of only playing at international level.
Yesterday's friendly presented him with his first opportunity in a Town shirt since he decided earlier this year that his future lay at Portman Road.
Royle added: “Jaime is in limbo because of red tape, but we're not complaining about that. We knew the situation when we took him on.
“He also knew it would be frustrating for a while, but he is a very mature young man.
“He has settled in really well. He trains with the first team quite regularly and always looks at home.
“He made a decision to come here because he knew that if he was good enough he would get his chance.”
Another youngster to enhance his prospects in yesterday's game was hat-trick hero Dean McDonald.
The former Arsenal teenager has been taken on until the end of the season after initially impressing when he was given an extended trial.
His next target is to earn himself a longer deal at Portman Road, but he has been frustrated by the lack of recent reserve fixtures.
Royle said: “That was the main reason for arranging the friendly against Cambridge, to give our players a much-needed game.
“Jaime and Dean are just two of several who will have benefited from it.
“A number of them have also been held back by injuries and were desperate to play.”
Fit-again young defenders Scott Mitchell, Gerard Nash and Scott Barron were all given run-outs yesterday, along with on-loan Monaco midfielder Jimmy Juan.
The Frenchman was on the bench for the first team at Cardiff on Tuesday and may feature again at Gillingham on Saturday, depending on skipper Jim Magilton's fitness.
Magilton has a slight tear in a calf muscle that saw him sit out the Ninian Park clash, but Royle was today more optimistic about his captain's chances for the weekend.
He said: “Jim was a lot better yesterday and I am expecting him to train tomorrow. He has a chance because he's Jim and because he is always desperate to play his part.”