Former Republic of Ireland international Stephen Ward has spoken laudably of Irish striker Troy Parrott, who is on loan at Ward's Ipswich Town.
19-year-old Troy Parrott was called up to the Ireland squad at the last minute, after Brighton striker Aaron Connolly pulled out of the camp due to injury.
Although the Tottenham loanee featured in Saturday’s defeat against Luxembourg, Parrott was unable to get his name on the scoresheet.
Goals have become something of a rarity under Stephen Kenny’s tenure. In Kenny’s ten matches in charge, Ireland have conjured up just three goals – and don’t bolster any proven, goal hungry strikers at their disposal.
Speaking with Ger Gilroy and Eoin Sheahan on OTB AM this morning however, Ward highlighted Parrott's potential to become a top-class striker.
“Obviously with Troy Parrott at Ipswich Town at the minute with myself. He looks a real real talent. [He has a] real appetite for the game and an eye for goal. His work ethic is unbelievable.”
“We have had some really good strikers in the past like Johnny Walters, Kevin Doyle, David McGoldrick.” Ward told OTB AM . “It’s going to take time. It’s not just going to happen overnight.”
Stephen Ward | Troy Parrott
But Ward, now 35, seemed optimistic about the working with Parrott so far at Ipswich.
“From what I’ve seen he’s a really talented player. Really nice guy. Very down to earth. He’s come in to Ipswich and everyone really gets on with him.”
“He has a really good eye for goal and has been unfortunate not to score more than he has for us.”
In just 12 appearances for Ipswich since joining in January, Parrott has only hit the back of the net just once.
Parrott had been loaned out to Championship side Millwall at the start of the season – before making the switch to Ipswich in January. The Dublin youngster was only deemed fit to play in November, after shaking off an ankle injury.
“He’s only 19 years of age.” Ward says. “He’s still learning his way. He’s still coming in everyday to learn and get better. And sure overtime he will become a great player for Ireland. Like I said it’s not going to happen overnight and other players are going to have to start chipping in with goals.”
Ward, still playing football with Ipswich, is also completing his coaching badges with the FAI.