Town have signed 18-year-old Millfield School pupil Charlie Binns on a two-year professional contract.
Goalkeeper Binns, who hails from Chard, is in the upper sixth form at the Somerset-based independent school.
“I have been lucky to go into several fantastic clubs over the last eight months, but Ipswich felt like a great fit for me and ideal for the next stage of my development,” Binns told the school’s website. “They are a big club with an impressive history.”
Millfield is well known for producing sports people with former Town defender Tyrone Mings among its alumni.
“The football programme is great because I can train up to six times a week which includes three dedicated goalkeeper sessions as well as team training,” Binns continued. “I also have a specialised strength and conditioning programme.
“We play in various leagues and cup competitions all over England and I also had the chance to be selected for the ISFA [Independent Schools Football Association] U18 national team which further helped my development.”
Binns, who is currently studying for A levels in business, history and PE, worked with former Bristol City and Bristol Rovers keeper Steve Phillips at Millfield.
“My goalkeeper-coach, Steven Phillips, is a top-class coach,” he said. “He is an ex-professional having played over 600 times in the Football League.
“To have a coach of his calibre has been hugely important for my development, as well as being able to tap into his years of experience as a pro. He drives me on to improve every session which is exactly what I want.”
Phillips added: “I could not be prouder of this young man, I know how hard it is to achieve what Charlie has achieved.”
Millfield head of football, Steve Perkins, said: “It is fantastic to see Charlie’s hard work and dedication for the game has paid off.
“Charlie joined Millfield with only a couple of years’ experience as a goalkeeper and showed huge potential to progress at a fast rate. He fully deserves this opportunity, and we can’t wait to see how he progresses in the future.”
Binns is the second 18-year-old keeper the Blues have signed this summer following the recruitment of New Zealand U20 international Henry Gray.
Gray is currently with the All Whites youngsters at the U20 World Cup in Argentina but has been an unused sub in their first two group matches.
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