But Academy manager admits it's getting harder to attract youngsters
Town’s line-up against Lowestoft in last night’s Suffolk Premier Cup defeat was mainly made up of Academy scholars and five second years, David October, Mark Timlin, Jon Leddy, Jack Marriott and Tom Winter have been offered one year professional contracts.
“The current group of scholars have been superb,” Academy manager Bryan told the Club website.
“Their work ethic, their willingness to learn. I have been delighted with the way they have applied themselves. There is still a lot of room for improvement but they want to learn.
“It’s not been easy for this group. Some of them have had three managers in their time here. They have not had a lot of time to impress Mick [McCarthy] but they have done that.
“Signing a pro deal is just the start for the boys though and it’s certainly getting harder for the youngsters in today’s game to progress into the first-team.
“There are many reasons for that, certainly the influx for foreign players has played a big part.
“It’s also getting harder for us to attract youngsters to Portman Road and being out of the Premier League for so long is a factor in that.
“The Premier League is everything for young players now. Many of them can’t remember Ipswich being outside of a Championship club.
“At the same time, we have always been able to say there is a pathway here. I can remember sitting with very talented players and their parents at Tottenham but I couldn’t look them in the eye and say they would definitely get the chance they deserve. At Ipswich, I can say there is a clear pathway. That has never changed.
“We want to be known as a football club that believes in developing young players and giving them the very best chance of progressing into the first-team. Mick buys into that and so does the owner.”