Jack Lankester has said his move to Bury Town was the right place at the right time as he looks to do enough to be offered a professional contract at Ipswich Town, writes Russell Claydon.
The 18-year-old forward, who has been at Ipswich since he was six, is coming up to a crucial juncture in his football career with a two-year scholarship at the Sky Bet Championship club finishing next month.
So he revealed he jumped at the chance to join Bury Town, his home town club, on a work experience loan with team-mate and fellow Bury-raised player Brett McGavin, two weeks ago.
“I am from Bury and Ipswich wanted me to get some experience at a men’s level so when I got the chance to come here I really wanted to do it,” he said.
“I know a few of the lads and get on really well with them, so it has been a good experience so far.”
Lankester, whose family are based just down the road in Fornham, immediately endeared himself to the Ram Meadow faithful with a goal and man-of-the-match display in the 2-0 victory over promotion-chasing Canvey Island on his Blues bow.
He showed more flashes of what he can do in front of watching Ipswich academy chief Bryan Klug in the 2-1 home victory over Heybridge Swifts on Thursday.
In that game, it was Bury’s top scorer Cemal Ramadan, previously with Lankester at Ipswich, who got both of the home goals (75’ & 82’)after Swifts had gone ahead through Luke Callander (71’).
On Saturday, Lankester fired his new side into a sixth-minute lead at Maldon & Tiptree, with Ramadan making sure of the three points against the promotion-chasers with his 24th league goal three minutes from time.
“It is good scoring but getting the side three points is the main thing,” said Lankester, an ex-pupil at King Edward VI School in Bury with new team-mate Tommy Robinson.
“We are on a bit of a run now and want to keep it going.”
Of the play-off situation, with the Blues being back in 10th but four points off the top six, though games in hand work against them, he said: “We just have to keep getting three points, we can’t do anymore, and just hope some people slip up. It could switch like that.”
Having come over to Ram Meadow with McGavin, son of former Ipswich and Bury player Steve, he said: “I have known Brett for years and we obviously understand each other’s games, so that obviously helps when we are out there.
“It is great to come here with him as well.”
Lankester added he is looking forward to Monday’s home derby with AFC Sudbury (3pm), as he knows quite a few of their squad.