Giving youth its chance is something that manager Paul Lambert has adhered to in his time at Ipswich Town and in light of the current financial climate a must!
As a club, we have always prided ourselves on bringing youth into the frame and so many local lads have benefited in the process. From Roger Osborne to Luke Woolfenden, the club policy of nurturing local talent has largely continued uninterrupted, and that is why I am pleased to see that Armando Dobra is closing in on a new three year deal with the Blues.
Of course, if we do not get promoted this season much of our efforts will probably be in vain. No matter how much Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden want to stay, those decisions will be made by the board and I cannot see owner Marcus Evans turning down a good offer for either of them quite frankly.
Promotion is still a possibility, and as I have said before, if we can get Kane Vincent-Young, James Norwood and Jack Lankester fit again, then our chances are greatly enhanced. It will not be easy though and we would have to start winning at home on a more regular basis again to give ourselves any realistic hope.
I am a strong believer in momentum, and if we got into the play-off’s thanks to an inspiring late run, then we could be back in contention. We really need this. If we fail to go up we will lose a lot of players and not just the academy players. I cannot see Wille Keane, Luke Garbutt, or indeed Alan Judge sticking around either – although, in the case of Judge, would he be greatly missed?
Brighton and Hove Albion had made a bid in excess of £350,000 for Dobra in the last transfer window and they are bound to come back in if Town fails to get promotion. Dobra is just 19 today, so if he does sign a contract extension, which is looking increasingly likely, he will not leave for a pittance if we do not make an immediate return to the Championship as hoped.