May 18 2013 Latest news:
By Dave Gooderham
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The man who gave Elliott Hewitt his league debut at the tender age of 16-years-old has told Town fans they have signed an “absolute steal”.
The right-back yesterday celebrated his 18th birthday by becoming Paul Jewell’s first summer signing after agreeing a three-year deal to sign from Macclesfield Town.
It appears Ipswich have stolen a march on rivals after Hewitt was watched by more than a dozen scouts at the start of last season before a hip injury saw him ruled out at the end of the season and interest curtailed.
But Gary Simpson, the teenager’s first boss at Macclesfield, has no doubt that Hewitt can make the step up from League Two football.
And in a message that will put the smiles back on the faces of Town fans, he added: “I don’t think Elliott will have any problem going up to the Championship and if he continues to improve like he has done, he will play in the Premier League – without a shadow of a doubt.
“When I was at Macclesfield, we had quite a bit of interest in him. “There was a number of Premier League clubs sniffing around and some games we had about 12-15 scouts just watching him – I joked we would have to start calling it ‘the Elliott Hewitt stand’.
“If it was not for his hip injury, he may well have gone straight to the Premier League. At one stage this season, we were talking about getting £1 million for him so Ipswich Town have got themselves an absolute steal.”
The teenager, who signed for a initial fee thought to be in the region of £150,000, yesterday declared he was ready to hit the ground running at Ipswich and challenge last season’s players’ player of the year Carlos Edwards at right-back.
Simpson added: “He has got all the attributes. He is a terrific athlete with good ability who can play at full-back or even centre midfield, like he has done for Wales.
“He is a terrific lad, down-to-earth and grounded, and I am sure he will be an unbelievable success.”