Town Youths Can Send Blues Back To The Future
Ipswich Town have to date won the FA Youth Cup on three occasions. Twice in the seventies in 1974 and 1976 and again in 2005, when they defeated Southampton 3-2 over two legs.
After last night's showing, when the youngest Town team ever lost to Crystal Palace of the Premier League by the narrowest of margins, more success in this competition could be forthcoming.
Credit must to a youth system that was originally devised by former boss Jackie Milburn back in 1964, for once again turning the tables on the big fish.
Yes, Town lost last night but not without a fight and with seven players making their professional debuts, it was a remarkable performance and it bodes well for the long term health of Ipswich Town football club.
In fact, this game could even have gone to extra time after Bersant Celina pulled a goal back in stoppage time and New Zealand international Monty Patterson narrowly missed the target with a glancing header with the last throw of the dice.
This was a complete Town performance and it hardly seems fair to highlight any individual displays; such was the collective achievements of this frighteningly young squad.
That said, the veteran of the team Dean Gerken proved what a good understudy he is to Bartosz Bialkowski and Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam once again confirmed why manager Mick McCarthy thinks so highly of them and why they are on the fringes of the first team action each week!
Lets not forget however Luke Woolfenden and the 18 year old Ipswich lad was outstanding again last night, as he was against Luton Town in the previous round, when he came off the bench.
Then there is Debenham High School pupil George Fowler and 18 year Patrick Webber, who also excelled yesterday evening.
Adam McDonnell too seems to have had a new lease of life this term and we all know about the quality of Ben Morris and Bersant Celina up front!
All in all then, last night was another evening to remember in what has been a fabulous season so far for Mick McCarthy and his boys.
In the context of the game itself, 'boys' is perhaps the correct terminology and as the gaffer said, ' We were lucky it did not go to extra time because most of these lads would normally be in bed!
On Saturday we entertain Fulham at Portman Road in the Championship and the familiar faces will return to the fold.
But what our manager now knows more than ever, is that his squad has a lot more depth to it then even he could have imagined!
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich