Royle salutes academy talent

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today saluted the club's academy as a fresh batch of young talent prepared to be unveiled.But Royle refuted the suggestion that youngsters had progressed to the Town first team because the club's lack of cash restricted his transfer market activity.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today saluted the club's academy as a fresh batch of young talent prepared to be unveiled.

But Royle refuted the suggestion that youngsters had progressed to the Town first team because the club's lack of cash restricted his transfer market activity.

He said: “As far as academy director Bryan Klug and his staff are concerned, I can only praise them to the skies for the job they are doing.


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“They have had a fantastic year - not for the first time - and long may it continue.

“But the club's finances have nothing to do with kids coming through and playing in the first team.

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“It is great that so many players have shown what they are capable of, but inevitably some don't measure up to the standard required and have to move on.”

Ipswich have handed senior debuts to 18 players this season, including a number of academy graduates like Shane Supple, Owen Garvan, Danny Haynes, Billy Clarke and Chris Casement.

But Royle added: “These kids have progressed for football reasons, full stop. We would never keep players unless they were good enough.

“Having said that, it is a massive bonus for any club to have an academy set-up where players are coming off the production line - and ours is one of the best around.”

Town will hold a day-long induction ceremony on Friday for the latest intake of football scholars - eight youngsters of immense promise, including one each from Iceland and New Zealand, which shows how far the club casts its net.

Royle said: “The message to all eight of them will be the same - welcome to Ipswich and in a couple of years you could be playing in the first team.

“I remember the likes of Supple, Garvan and the others when they arrived and we said the same to them.

“I don't think there has ever been a better time to join this club.”

Royle has also confirmed that there are no plans to scrap the Ipswich reserve side after the club was forced to quit the Premier Reserve League (South), which will now only admit Premiership outfits.

He said: “There is absolutely no way we are going to give up on reserve football at this club. We still regard it as a vital component.”

Town could be founder members of a East Anglian league, with discussions currently taking place, while another option is to play friendly fixtures throughout the season.

Meanwhile, released academy player Jack Haverson is to have trials with Bournemouth and Cathal Lordan, currently on trial back home in Ireland with Cork City, has been offered a trial at Bradford City.

n Ipswich legend Kevin Beattie is to be presented with a second PFA Young Player of the Year trophy after he was the first winner of the accolade in the 1973-74 season. The trophy was destroyed in a fire in Norway, where Beattie finished his playing career, and PFA deputy chief executive Mick McGuire will be at Portman Road on Saturday to present Beattie with a replica.

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