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Dyer Handed New Role at Academy
Sunday, 16th Jul 2017 19:55

Blues legend Kieron Dyer has been handed the role of assistant U16s coach at the Town academy.

Ipswich-born Dyer, 38, came through the club’s youth set-up in the mid-nineties and has remained close to the academy as a long-term sponsor as well as having previously spent time coaching after hanging up his boots in the summer of 2013.

“I’m the assistant U16s coach in a part-time role working with Adem Atay,” Dyer told TWTD.

“He oversees the U16s and all the way down to the U9s and is doing a fantastic job. It’ll be good to learn from him and vice versa, we feed off each other quite well.”

Atay, 31, was also an academy and reserves player with Town prior to spells in Turkey and in local non-league before returning to Playford Road as a coach.

“Adem is basically taking the same route as Liam Manning [now at West Ham] and I think he’s as good as Liam Manning, they’re both very good coaches,” the former England international added.

“They’ve got a very good way with the kids, they can relate to the kids, which is half the job.”

Dyer says his previous stint coaching at the academy, when he also worked with the U16s, was brought to a halt by bureaucracy.

“The FA are quite strict and say you need certain qualifications to be involved with the academy and I didn’t have any of my badges then,” he continued. “So I’ve taken a couple of years off to do my badges and I’ve now got my B Licence.

“I went in to see how the boys were doing in pre-season, the youth team, and [academy manager] Lee O’Neill and [head of coaching and player development] Bryan Klug asked me what my situation was and whether I wanted to come back in and help with the U16s because they said they need people of my stature back in the club helping the kids.

“I said yes. They said they had to OK it with Mick [McCarthy] and Mick was completely fine with it and is happy for me to come on board, and I’ve been really enjoying it.”

He added: “I’m happy to come in and help and hopefully this is a start for me and I can start progressing up through the ranks.

“The club’s in a great place with Alan Lee as the [U18s] academy coach and Gerard Nash running the U23s and so on but that’s the next step I’d like to take, one day to become an [U18s] academy coach and then hopefully become an U23 coach, work my way up.”

He says there was recently interest from elsewhere: “I kind of got offered a job at Cardiff to work in their academy in the summer. Nothing official but I know Neil Warnock well and [close friend] Craig Bellamy is there now working in the academy.

“I got a phone call saying asking if I fancied coming into the academy, but I didn’t really want to move to Cardiff and plus I think Neil Warnock has said that this is his last season or one of his last seasons and a lot can change, new people come in and then you’re out of a job, so it wasn’t right at the time.”

Dyer was joined by his former Town and Newcastle United team-mate Titus Bramble, also now a coach at the academy, as he worked for his B Licence at Playford Road towards the end of last season.

“We did it together, which was quite funny and it probably helped us a lot,” he recalled.

“We did our assessment together, half an hour after each other, I had the first hour and he had the second hour, but we did all our classes and courses together.

“It probably helped us along, he was looking at all my notes to get tips, but I wasn’t looking at his to be honest! We fed off each other and it was good.

“We got Needham Market’s academy in to the training ground and we used their U18s players.

“Their coaching staff were very understanding and the players were as good as gold because they were at the training ground all day. They were basically like guinea pigs for us and it was a long day for them, but they were brilliant.

“We passed and we can now apply for our A and Pro Licences, which will be the next thing.”

Dyer’s new role saw him make a surprise return to playing action in the annual friendly at Southwold earlier this month.

“My first training session was the on the Tuesday before the Southwold game and we had an U23 game the day after and we also had a lot of the U18s squad going over to Ireland with the first team, Tristan Nydam, Flynn Downes, Ben Morris and Conor McKendry,” he explained.

“We knew that a lot of the youth team would be playing in the U23 game and therefore we were going to send a lot of the 16-year-olds to Southwold, three of four were involved in the game.

“When you put on sessions you give instructions but it’s also better when you can demonstrate, so I thought I’d get my boots on and show the U16s with actions as well as just words.

“I think it went quite well, they were happy that they were playing with me and they got a lot out of it.

“I felt it a bit the next day. I felt good at the time, I was thinking ‘Bloody hell, the way I’m playing I might be able to get in the first team!’.

“But when I woke up the next day and the day after that and I was still aching I realised that’s not for me.

“When I got to the end of my career, where it took other people one or two days to recover, I was still feeling soreness and stiffness after three or four days.

“It wasn’t the injuries, it was just when I’d play games because I’m a high intensity player. It was what’s called 'delayed muscle soreness', it took me so long to recover.

“That then means it’s a vicious circle because you can’t train for two or three days to maintain your sharpness.”

The former midfielder hopes to see a number of academy products push on and their cement places in the first team during the season to come.

Most familiar to fans is Andre Dozzell, who was a member of the England U19s team which won the European Championships yesterday, while Dyer is a long-term fan of Nydam - who he jokingly refers to as ‘Tristan Dyer’ due to their similar styles - and Downes, who has caught Blues boss McCarthy’s eye in recent months.

Dyer was impressed with Dozzell’s displays at the Euros in Georgia: “I watched most of the games, I didn’t see the final because I moved house and my Sky wasn’t set up, but apparently he did very well.

“They are kids but they’re not kids, if you know what I mean, because if you want to go on to the next stage they can’t be treated as kids any more, they’ve got to be men now. Yes, they’ve got potential but they’ve got to realise that potential.

“I’ve been beating on the Tristan and Andre drum for a long time now and, again, actions speak louder than words. This season they’ve really got to kick on, they’ve got to break into the team and hopefully stay in the team.

“Flynn, two years ago he was in my U16s, again he had great potential but was a bit behind Andre and Tristan at the time.

“But he’s come on leaps and bounds. In pre-season I hear he’s been absolutely flying, winning all the long distance races, he was ahead on all the running stats and in training in Ireland I heard he was outstanding, which is good for him and he’s another one to look out for.

“But I’ve been saying this about our kids for a while, I said this about Teddy Bishop, and it just seems that they can’t sustain a place in the team.

“Hopefully they can start turning potential into the real thing and establish themselves in the team because there’s nothing more pleasing for academy coaches - and fans - than seeing youth team players come through, like with Tommy Smith.

“It was a shame because I thought that last season’s youth team could have had a good run in the FA Youth Cup because they had a midfield three of Andre, Tristan and Flynn, who are all now on the border of the first team.

“But Tristan wasn’t fit [for their exit at Nottingham Forest], which took a lot out of the youth team. Those three are the next batch to come through, fingers crossed.”

Does he believe it’s harder for young players to break into first teams now than when he made his debut for George Burley's side as a sub at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day 1996 aged 17?

“There obviously weren’t as many foreigners in English football when we were playing but, and I don’t want to sound big-headed, if I was a 17-year-old today with the same ability and potential I had, I think I would break into Ipswich Town’s first team and stay in it.

“Maybe that’s why I broke in so early, because I had that kind of confidence that once I’d get in there I’d stay in there. And again, all our young kids on the border have got to find that inner belief.

“They can’t use age or that they’re a kid any more, you’ve got to realise that you’re good enough.

“You’ve seen Andre, he’s playing with Chelsea’s superstars and Arsenal’s superstars [in the England U19s], Chelsea have won the FA Youth Cup for the last four years.

“I know [Chelsea youngsters] Mason Mount, Trevoh Chalobah and Dujon Sterling, all these top, top players and in the first two games I watched he was the best player on the pitch by miles. He’s got to start realising that potential now. It’s a big year for him.”

Reflecting further on Town’s season ahead, he added: “We need a quick start, the signings so far look promising.

“I was up at the training ground watching the behind closed doors friendly against Southend last week and Joe Garner scored two fantastic goals.

“A small lad but tenacious and very good in the air. He’ll be a good addition to the squad. Flynn Downes came on in the second half and was outstanding, so we’ll see.”

Dyer doesn’t want to mention the U16s he is working with alongside Atay by name at such a relatively early stage in their development, but is confident there is more talent coming through behind the likes of Dozzell, Nydam and Downes.

“I don’t want to single out players in the U16s but the future’s bright, put it that way.”

Photos: TWTD/Larry McQuillan/Drogheda United

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gazza73 added 20:02 - Jul 16
Good to hear , 1st step to becoming our manager!

bontcho added 20:19 - Jul 16
One reason a 17 year old Dyer would get in our current team is it's nowhere near as good as the late 90s vintage. With football changing I doubt any current Championship is.

bontcho added 20:20 - Jul 16
Would be great, gazza73, but it's nice he's doing it properly rather than just saying "I'm famous give me the job".

jas0999 added 20:21 - Jul 16
Excellent news. Exactly what the club needs. A very popular, ex home grown player player returning. Ensures we retain the values which we used to have. Good step in right direction.

warktheline added 20:44 - Jul 16
Doesn't matter who works in the pyramid under our current manager! Show me the value in this appointment when our first team play 'kick and rush football'?
On another note, whilst running through the Championship teams this coming season my mouth went extremely dry....very concerning and worrying !

runningout added 23:17 - Jul 16
Just aswell you don't do the team talk then.. No one to be concerned about in this league, a lot of strong mentality helps

shakytown added 04:06 - Jul 17
Running out. What were Mucks team talks like last season then?????? More of that rubbish and we won't be in this league.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 06:37 - Jul 17
Nice! Let's hope the building continues for the day when we get back to playing football ITFC style. In the meantime, the youngsters can take inspiration from "one of our own."

ArnieM added 07:23 - Jul 17
KD "role model" ?

Is this the same KD who burnt £50notrs in the local nightclubs?

Or the same KD who refused to play in the position Sir Bobby Robson needed him for "the team", which ultimately got SBR the sack?

He may well have put his own money into ITFC academy and he "one of our own". But let's not run away with the idea he's some form of superhero. There are better role models than this I'm sure.

Let the down arrows begin!

Swn98 added 07:43 - Jul 17
How very dramatic walktheline

bigolconnor added 08:16 - Jul 17
Just need Bent, Wright and Herman to come back and coach with a Magilton / Holland management team and we can all be happy. I'd take Counago too.

marco007 added 09:24 - Jul 17
If Flynn is a good long distance runner, he has a real chance with MM!
Forget the footballers like Andre and Teddy as the ball just flies over their heads!

warktheline added 09:53 - Jul 17
@swn, dramatic? Explain....better still don't !
@runningout, lets see if you're still 'running' your brave trap off come end of season!

Nowt has changed from last season, or season before! If anything the squad has weakened, as the bookies confirm! Very tough season ahead, strong mentality won't change that! Relegation scrap I'm afraid, unless changes are made quickly!

BlueSmith94 added 10:24 - Jul 17
Good to hear positives about the acadamy, well done Dyer on the new role, lets hope you progress to future town manager one day...?

itfcgene added 10:50 - Jul 17
Excellent news. Big news. Big, Big News.

However, and it's a big 'however', I hate the term 'feed off each other'. It always makes me think of lying naked on the floor next to each other removing and eating pieces of fruit and chocolate off of one another's body. I don't want to do that with Kieron Dyer. I'm super sure of that. So why do I imagine doing it?

Do you know what I mean?

Bluebell added 11:12 - Jul 17
I love the way a lot of our 'old' playerss remain in or around Ipswich and want to carry on working within the team.

Keiran has done a lot for the academy financially and also for charity. I think it's so much nicer having old players involved than bringing in people who nobody has ever heard of or know what they can do.

MathieandMarshall added 12:34 - Jul 17
Arnie M : I've seen / read several interviews in recent years where Dyer has admitted that he was a bit of a tool when younger and made many mistakes. He mentioned the Sir Bobby incident again fairly recently as one of his biggest regrets.
I'd say he could be a very positive role model if he reminds the kids not to get carried away and become "big time" too soon which so many seem to do. First contract, think they have made it, drop out of the squad and never pull on the shirt again.

Time will tell i guess. Money has ruined the game and i can see why a lad in his late teens with thousands of pounds at his disposal could take the wrong path. If Dyer can be a positive influence on some of ours then great!

Blue041273 added 12:58 - Jul 17
Welcome Kieron,

Love it that we can engage the kids with former players of his stature. Just wish that we could get more 17 year olds into the main squad. Good coaches can't turn average kids into Ronaldos but they can make them better. We just need to convert the better youngsters into first team material. Seems like we might have the raw talent there; just need to give them the right development programme and KD with his years of experience in the modern professional game can surely help. Titus too! Good luck boys! 😀😀😀

Brownie added 14:00 - Jul 17
To be a positive influence you don't need to be a saint. Experience of doing the wrong thing & recognising that can help others too.
His commitment to ITFC appears genuine & he was a very talented player. If he can communicate all of that to our youngsters & junior pros it should help them greatly.

nhabo added 14:41 - Jul 17
Very interesting article, especially the thoughts on the young players looking to break through. Definitely an important season for Dozzell. I'm hoping we play a system that will allow him to play in the first team and develop. His mature performances for England this summer would indicate he is currently best suited to playing in a deeper midfield two with an AMC in front. We possibly now have the players to facilitate that.

Good luck to Kieron Dyer in his new role.

MattinLondon added 15:49 - Jul 17
It’s easy to criticise Dyer for things which happened in the past – but there’s where such things belong to stay. I challenge anyone not to turn into a bit of a brat if they were earning tens of thousands per week as well as being idolised by thousands in their late teens and early twenties.

What’s important is that Dyer has realised that he wasn’t a always pleasant r in his younger days and that he wants to help the younger players from becoming too-big-for-their boots.

Here’s a player who if it wasn’t for injury would have won over a 100 caps for England and who, in his prime, was a very very good player. His knowledge, experience and mistakes can only help make the younger players better.

But it’s easy to criticise – glass houses and all that.

blackcat added 17:44 - Jul 17
He may of been a silly billy as a youngster but he seems to of turned into a fine fellow and so I am happy he will stay in the Ipswich fold, long may it be so

BlueandTruesince82 added 18:15 - Jul 17
I think this is great. KD was technically gifted and has been th most of the highs and lows football has to offer.

Imagine the reaction if someone had run this past Keane, who I think told Dyer to **** off.......

Cloddyseedbed added 21:28 - Jul 17
A pleasure to watch Towns young players and the way they are coached how to play football. Some really good prospects on the books, fast skillful and on the ground. Unfortunately when they get into the 1st team they'll be lost as that's not the way the 1st team is set up to play. That is the clubs downfall at present. The same coaching system and game plan should be the same the whole way through the levels and continued in 1st team. Anyone who wants to be entertained, go and watch the young boys, they are a joy to watch and entertaining.

shakytown added 03:29 - Jul 18
Cloddy. Spot on mate but sadly as long as muck the miserable is around it won't change.

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