Carel Tiofack and Conor O’Donnell released by Ipswich
Ipswich Town second year scholars Carel Tiofack and Conor O’Donnell have been released after failing to sign professional contracts.
The Republic of Ireland under-17 duo are among five academy players who have been released by the club. Academy manager Sammy Morgan spoke of the difficulty of letting the youngsters go. “It’s the hardest part of the job for Russell [Osman, U18 coach] and I. We have worked with the boys for two years, longer in many cases, and it’s hard to sit down with them and tell them we have to let them go – but decisions have to be made.
“We will circulate the names of the others and try and help them get fixed up with a club. Just because we have not given them a contract, it doesn’t mean they won’t stay in the game. There are plenty of examples of players being released who have gone on to have good careers in football.”
Cameroon-born striker Tiofack had been bizarrely linked with a move to Arsenal by the Sun newspaper, which senior Ipswich boss Paul Jewell dismissed. “He’s a young Academy player who can’t get a regular game in our team. I don’t know where that story came from. If Arsenal want to give us £2 million with a view, we’ll listen to it! His contract’s up this year, so he’s one of those players that we have to make a decision on, which is horrible when it goes the wrong way for them.”
However, the move now seems more unlikely for the former Ballincollig AFC attacker. Goalkeeper O’Donnell joined the club while Roy Keane was in charge, signing from Buncrana Hearts. Both players will now be hoping to find new clubs as soon as possible.