The Championship is looking more competitive than ever and for Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy, it probably means an extremely tough campaign ahead.
The Tractor Boys could only dream to have some of the investment that other sides have under their belts at his level and for the former Wolves man, it’s set to be another season of scrapping for their second-tier careers.
Relegation to League One probably looks closer than promotion right now but after a good opening day win over Birmingham City this weekend, there are certainly some promising signs to take away from the past few days.
But there’s one man that we think could bring some real energy and quality to the current Ipswich Town side and that’s academy graduate Flynn Downes.
Despite Ipswich’s horrendous pre-season campaign, which saw them lose 6-1 to League One outfit Charlton, Essex-born Downes impressed amongst the senior squad, so much so that Town manager McCarthy gave him a three-year deal going into the new campaign.
Despite not starting the game against the Blues, Downes came on following a horrendous injury to Andre Dozzell and looked sharp amongst his team-mates.
He’s certainly been given the nod of approval by his manager and it’s clear that Downes could the all-round midfielder Ipswich have been lacking for years now. He’s not afraid to get stuck in, passes it forward well and isn’t afraid to try things either.
Of course, at 18-years-old, he’s still got things to learn when it comes to developing even more at his age but Ipswich’s lack of financial metal means they’ll be semi-reliant on some of their young players over the coming weeks and months.
Downes has a real chance to show the Tractor Boys faithful that he can be a real homegrown hero and more than ever, they need a little bit of quality in their team with the season looking extremely tough indeed.
Saturday’s result was a good start but now, players like Downes need to take their chances. He could become a fan favourite in minutes.
Ipswich fans – have you got high hopes for Downes? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!