Town sign on hot shot striker Rhodes
ANDY Rhodes works to make goalkeepers better players, but his son dedicates his time to making their lives a misery.Jordan Rhodes, 16, has signed a three-year deal with Ipswich Town, and if his current goalscoring record is anything to go by, Blues fans could see some fireworks in the very near future.
By Steve Mellen
ANDY Rhodes works to make goalkeepers better players, but his son dedicates his time to making their lives a misery.
Jordan Rhodes, 16, has signed a three-year deal with Ipswich Town, and if his current goalscoring record is anything to go by, Blues fans could see some fireworks in the very near future.
In matches for the club's academy sides this season the latest teenage striking sensation to emerge from the Playford Road training ground has found time between his studies to smash 32 goals in just over 20 games, and has even featured in the reserves.
In the summer Jordan,
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whose deal includes a two-year academy scholarship and then a year as a professional, will leave Kesgrave High School and be with Town full-time, joining the long list of talented young forwards on the club's books.
Danny Haynes has burst on to the scene this season - scoring a derby winner in the process - and Billy Clarke has also featured in the first team and has been tipped as a future Irish international.
Now Jordan, who came to Suffolk when his father moved down from Barnsley to become goalkeeping coach under Joe Royle, is the next in line to make an impact.
He said: “There's only one feeling better than playing in the reserves and that's the first team so if I can keep going and maybe get some more matches under my belt in the next year then you never know.
“Joe Royle and Bryan Klug have spoken to me a lot, given me some tips, and it's great having my dad involved in the club too, someone fighting my corner.
“I played against Coventry for the reserves this season and it was tough, I didn't stop running for 15 minutes, and physically it was much harder because we were playing with the pros.
“My ambitions are to play at the top level, to work hard and just do the best I can. I admire people like Alan Shearer and Ruud van Nistelrooy, just for the amount of goals they've scored.
“I'm pretty good in the air, right footed, like to see myself as quite fast as well, that's mainly my game.”
Dad Andy, who describes his son as a 'modern target man', says while he is happy to give Jordan tips, it's not always easy being at the same club.
He said: “Sometimes it's tough for me because I'm a dad first but I have to let him get on with it.
I know Joe has a lot of input with him and I tend to try to keep out of it and let Bryan point him in the right direction.
“He's always scored goals, he had a nasty habit of doing that ever since he was playing for the under-11s up in Barnsley in a Sunday League there.
“He went to the Barnsley Academy and got a lot of goals there too but it's only since he's been here that he's game has developed.
“He could always finish but it was only when he came down here and started working with people like Bryan Klug and Tony Humes that he developed his game as a striker. Now he's doing a little bit more than just banging them into the net, he's got his movement and link-up play going as well.”