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Ipswich Town Under-18 talents Tommy Smith and Alex Henderson register for Bury Town in time for key Coggeshall Town home game

Injury-hit Bury Town have been boosted ahead of this afternoon's first-versus-third BetVictor Isthmian League North Division home match with Coggeshall Town (3pm) with a double signing from Ipswich Town getting through ahead of the weekend registration cut-off deadline.

The Free Press exclusively revealed yesterday that two players from a professional club were due to train with them on Thursday, with manager Ben Chenery hoping he could get them signed in time for today.

The Blues boss has confirmed this morning that has happened and we can now reveal the pair as Ipswich Town Under-18s talents Tommy Smith and Alex Henderson.

FOOTBALL - Bury Town v Brentwood Town..Pictured: Ben Chenery....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (2919273)
FOOTBALL - Bury Town v Brentwood Town..Pictured: Ben Chenery....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (2919273)

Like Jack Lankester and Brett McGavin, who have both previously had successful spells with the Blues as a launchpad to the first team, Smith is from Bury St Edmunds and plays at left-back, while Henderson is a centre-back.

Chenery, who has at least five first-team players ruled out with injury ahead of this afternoon's return to league action, said: "We have been trusted with Ipswich Town's players previously, having had Jack Lankester and Brett McGavin, who have both gone on to make the first team and Riley Scott, who got another year on his deal after going back. Collin Oppong has come over and is doing really well.

"We have had a really good relationship that Alan Lee has been helping with and Ipswich are seeing these players are moving in the right direction here and they are trusting us with their young talent which is really good.

Bury Town Football Club, Ram Meadow..Picture Mark Westley. (22957354)
Bury Town Football Club, Ram Meadow..Picture Mark Westley. (22957354)

"It is a win-win situation really as it helps us and exposes the lads to senior football and all the intricacies of playing 90 minutes at a competitive level.

"We are very proud of having that relationship with us and are grateful that they trust us with their young talent."

Of the two new additions, who have joined on work experience loans, meaning they will be still training with Ipswich when not with Bury and able to go back and play in the FA Youth Cup, the Blues boss said: "I have watched them. We make sure they are the right fit for us.

"Alex is a centre-half and Tommy a left-back.

Bury Town badge (19290104)
Bury Town badge (19290104)

"They are both good footballers who can almost defend and understand the game.

"I think they will certainly complement what we are trying to do at Bury and ensure we are able to get through this tricky period."

He added: "What I don't want to do is get to December and January and we are suffering with injuries and we have not got enough players to cope. I am mindful of that."

Neither of the players has yet made their first-team debut with Smith having turned 18 earlier this month.

Former Ipswich Town Under-18s coach and England international Kieron Dyer tipped Smith as one of his two players who have bright futures ahead of them on leaving the club in August to pursue his ambition of being a senior manager.


* Meanwhile, former Bury player Ollie Canfer has left Mildenhall Town to join higher-league Felixstowe & Walton United.

The midfielder-turned-striker only signed for the club relegated to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division in the summer, following a season which saw him named Stowmarket Town's Players' Player of The Year after a return of 21 goals in the same division.

But he only managed to make 11 competitive appearances for Mildenhall, scoring four goals, since signing with the club struggling since their demotion, currnetly lying in 15th place having had title ambitions in August.

  • Follow all the key action from Bury Town v Coggeshall Town this afternoon via our live matchday blog, available on our website by 2pm.

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