Town to run rule over South African

IPSWICH are one of several clubs who will tonight check on highly-rated South African star Dean van Staden.The 19-year-old defender will be guesting for Ridgeons League outfit Needham Market in a friendly against Mistley United.

IPSWICH are one of several clubs who will tonight check on highly-rated South African star Dean van Staden.

The 19-year-old defender will be guesting for Ridgeons League outfit Needham Market in a friendly against Mistley United.

Town boss Joe Royle confirmed he will be sending a scout to Bloomfields, while neighbours and arch-rivals Norwich will be in attendance too.

Cambridge and Colchester will also have representatives checking on the powerful youngster, who stands 6ft 4ins tall and whose ambition is to make the grade in England.


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Van Staden plays for the University of Pretoria in the newly formed Golden League, the second tier of senior football in South Africa.

“You could say this all came about through a friend of a friend,” explained Needham boss Mark Morsley.

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“What is important is that Dean is over here and looking to impress, so we are giving him a platform to show what he can do.

“He has been over here for a week or so and is due to go back on Sunday, so tonight's game is very important for him.”

The game will also serve a purpose for Morsley as he prepares his team, currently second in the Ridgeons First Division, for Saturday's trip to face leaders March Town.

He added: “I often put on games instead of training and my players will also benefit from the game.

“Dean trained with us last week and showed a great deal of promise, and it will be up to the clubs who watch him tonight as to whether or not they want to take things any further.

“He is playing at a decent standard over in South Africa and several of his team-mates have attracted attention this year. One of them has been on trial with Perugia in Italy.

“All we are doing is trying to help a young player with a lot of potential. He is so keen that he is missing two league games back home while he is over in England.”

Meanwhile, Royle reports no injury worries before Saturday's trip to West London to face a QPR side just four places, and seven points, below Ipswich in the Championship table.

Another lacklustre performance by Pablo Counago, a likely substitute at Loftus Road, saw him substituted last night for the second time in as many games with the Town Reserves.

The Spanish striker, in the last year of his Portman Road contract, made way for 16-year-old Darryl Knights in the 62nd minute of the 1-1 draw at Derby.

Royle had to abandon plans to attend the fixture as he struggled with flu symptoms. The Town boss was a lot better today.

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