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Ipswich Town have a star in the making with Ross Crane, says AFC Sudbury Academy director Danny Laws




AFC Sudbury’s academy director Danny Laws is confident Ross Crane has what it takes to flourish in the professional game after signing a two-year contract with Ipswich Town.

The 17-year-old controversially left the Yellows last summer when he was mid-way through his scholarship in the club’s academy to sign for local rivals Bury Town.

But Laws is not surprised to see the Ipswich-based player get the chance to shine at his hometown club so soon.

Football - Bury Town v Hullbridge Sports - Ross Crane scores Bury Towns second goal - Ram Meadow - Picture - Neil Dady. (31018487)
Football - Bury Town v Hullbridge Sports - Ross Crane scores Bury Towns second goal - Ram Meadow - Picture - Neil Dady. (31018487)

“We were disappointed he left us but Ross has always shown potential from when we picked him up having come out of Colchester United’s academy at 16,” said Laws, who as well as running AFC’s full-time academy is also assistant manager of the first team.

“I would back him 100 per cent to go on and fufil his potential and we wish him well.”

Despite only being 16, Crane broke into Mark Morsley’s side ahead of experienced left-back Daryl Coakley at the back end of the 2018/19 campaign, getting a run of 14 appearances as he held on to the number three shirt.

AFC Sudbury v Canvey Island - Ross Crane..Pic - Richard Marsham. (35913856)
AFC Sudbury v Canvey Island - Ross Crane..Pic - Richard Marsham. (35913856)

He also played a starring role in AFC Sudbury Under-18s’ third straight Thurlow Nunn Youth League Championship, as well as lifting the Suffolk Boys’ Under-18s Midweek Cup at Portman Road.

He then shone as an advanced left-winger in Nevada, USA, as AFC Sudbury Academy won the Albion Las Vegas Memorial Day Cup via his golden goal in the final against Downton LSVC.

“We will never forget that golden goal he got and I can picture those scenes right now,” said Laws.

“He was fantastic on that tour and by the end was man marked.

AFC Sudbury v Witham Town - Ross Crane.Pic - Richard Marsham. (35913844)
AFC Sudbury v Witham Town - Ross Crane.Pic - Richard Marsham. (35913844)

“He had a great 18/19 season here and we are obviously proud of the part we have played and there will be more to come from here, I am sure.”

Crane follows in the footsteps of fellow academy graduates Tyler French (Bradford City) and Liam Bennett (Cambridge United) in moving into the professional ranks in the past 12 months.

Laws said he sees a lot of similarities between Crane and another player he had a hand in seeing on to a professional career.

FOOTBALL - Suffolk U18 Midweek Cup final - AFC Sudbury v Walsham Le Willows..Pictured: Danny Laws....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... (35913946)
FOOTBALL - Suffolk U18 Midweek Cup final - AFC Sudbury v Walsham Le Willows..Pictured: Danny Laws....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... (35913946)

“Ross reminds me of when Ipswich signed Liam Trotter from us when I was at Bury (running the West Suffolk College football school) all those years ago,” he said.

“There is his physicality and the fact he is a late birthday (18 in August), so he is still developing.”

Meanwhile, with their season being cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, Laws has opened up what is effectively an extended third-year programme for next season which will offer a Level 3 diploma in the areas of personal trainer and gym instructor.

Academy captain Lewis O’Malley is one of those to have already signed up for the limited number of places.

Anyone interested is asked to see the club website and email academy.afc@gmail.com


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