© Pride of Anglia. All rights reserved.

Pride of Anglia legal stuff.


What's New?

Friday, April 30

An 18-man squad travelled to Yorkshire last night for today's Sky TV televised Sheffield United clash. They are:

Kelvin Davis, Lewis Price, Fabian Wilnis, Matt Richards, John McGreal, Matt Elliott, Richard Naylor, Drissa Diallo, Georges Santos, Jim Magilton, Tommy Miller, Jermaine Wright, Ian Westlake, Chris Bart-Williams, Martijn Reuser, Dean Bowditch, Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi.

Joe Royle talks about tonights game, the play-offs and Corinthians values at Portman Road here.

Elsewhere, fans of author John King will be pleased to know that the film of his best selling novel The Football Factory is due to hit the cinemas on May 14th. A study of middle England, football violence and male culture, the story centres around a bored twenty something casual and promises a drug fuelled adrenaline rush of football violence. Not that I condone such things of course.

Thursday, April 29

MATT HOLLAND AT CHARLTON - An Ipswich Perspective


Written for the Charlton Blog All Quiet In The East Stand:

I'm not entirely surprised to hear that there is a groundswell of opinion building at the Valley that Matt Holland's move from Town to Charlton during the summer has been a disappointment.

I'm not a watcher of Sky Televised games so the only way I have of keeping tabs on his and Hermann Hreidarsson's progress is limited to ITV's THE PREMIERSHIP highlights on Saturday nights. Which is not very much at all.

Your manager Alan Curbishley has been more than impressed with Holland since his transfer "not just with his performances but the way he conducts himself" with the "diving" incident against Arsenal back in October, than gained you a 1-1 draw, the only blemish.

All that said I think the general consensus at Ipswich, at least the amongst the Town fans that I mix with, is that we had had the best years out of the Republic of Ireland midfielder. And whilst he shone for the Republic during the 2002 World Cup there was always a bit of feeling that he was just a tad overrated elsewhere. Graham Taylor, then at Villa, was rumoured to have offered GBP8Million for him prior to the 2002-03 season! Although I still think the GBP750,000 you got him for was a bargain even in the deflated state the market finds itself in.

He's a tireless performer, whatever position he is asked to play in, but is not a player that is going to mix it when the going gets tough. Four yellow cards in six seasons at Portman Road, and only one missed league game during an almost injury free run from his 1997 debut to his final Town game in May 2003, would seem to bear that out. As would your results since Scott Parker moved across the capital to Chelsea in January.

Want-a-away dutchman Martijn Reuser refuses to discuss transfer speculation until Town are back in the Premiership! The midfielder said after the Gillingham game that he was fed up with his role as super sub and wants regular first team football. Something that he is not currently getting under manager Joe Royle who gave him a free transfer late last year.

Willem II Tilburg declared an interest in the former Dutch International earlier this week but Reuser declined to discuss any further transfer talk until the summer. "It is an honour and a privilege to be part of this Ipswich Town side and all I want to do is focus on these next two games and then hopefully the three play-off games after that." He told the EADT.

Tommy Miller (hamstring), who returns to training today, remains the biggest concern for tomorrow's visit to Bramall Lane but Jim Magilton and Kelvin Davis have both recovered from minor knocks picked up in Saturday's 2-1 loss to Forest. Neither Georges Santos or Chris Bart-Williams played in Tuesday's reserve game at Leicester which would suggest they will both be included in the squad of sixteen for the Sheffield United game.

Joe Royle has been asked to present awards to the winners of the "Player of the Year" and "Team of the Year" in the Blades' Super League, a local Sheffield based league. The presentation will take place at Town's hotel tomorrow night.

Town's reserve game at Nottingham Forest, postponed two weeks ago after the players coach got stuck in traffic on the A1, has been rescheduled for Thursday May 6th. It is hoped that striker Pablo Counago will make his first appearance in that game after suffering a hamstring injury in the reserves visit to Pride Park at the beginning of March.

And finally, FIFA President Sepp Blatter (pictured) has proposed that drawn games become a thing of the past "Every game should have a winner. We should have the courage to introduce a final decision in every game." Check out Arseblog for an interesting perspective on Blatt's latest brush with the men in white coats.

Wednesday, April 28

Town's reserves lost 3-0 to their Leicester counterparts last night at the Walkers Stadium. A very young Blue's side featured only two players with any first team experience in Alun Armstrong and Scott Mitchell.

Players past and present where at a testimonial dinner in memory of Dale Roberts (pictured) at the Copdock Hotel on Monday night. Former Town manager George Burley was amongst those paying tribute to his former assistant who died from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma on February 5th, 2003. A testimonial match against Newcastle United has been given a provisional date of July 28th.

Another fixture with a provisional date is a pre-season friendly against Northampton Town at Sixfields. This has been scheduled for August 2nd but is subject to Town's league status.

With Tommy Miller (hamstring) still a doubt for the visit to Sheffield United on Friday a possible recall for Chris Bart-Williams is on the cards. Bart-Williams, who played for United's cross-town rivals Wednesday in the 1993 FA Cup Final against Arsenal, has himself been injury striken as of late (back) and has not started a game for Town for almost three months.

Lewis Price, Town's second choice 'keeper is currently attending a three-day training camp with the Welsh U-21 squad. Price, who was born in Bournemouth, qualifies for Welsh selection through his father. The camp is part of the side's preparation for the UEFA 2006 U-21 qualifying campaign.

Micky Stockwell scored the equaliser for Woodbridge Town in their 1-1 draw with Great Yarmouth on Saturday. It was Stockwell's tenth goal for the Woodpeckers since he joined them in August.

Former Blue's 'keeper James Pullen, now on the books at Peterborough United, has found himself back at Heybridge Swifts - albeit on loan. Town signed Pullen from the Swifts in September 1999, but after a calamitous league debut against Grimbsy Town last season, he was given a free transfer by manager Joe Royle.

Another former Town player, Chris Keeble, is also playing with the Ryman League Premier League side. Keeble, a midfielder, made a single appearance for Town, as a substitute, in the 3-1 win at Port Vale in December 1997.

And finally, Portman Road will play host to a number of regional Cup Finals towards the end of next month including the Suffolk Premier Cup Final on Friday May 21st and the Suffolk Junior Cup Final on Thursday May 27th with sides from Hadleigh United competing in both.

Tuesday, April 27

A win over Forest on Saturday would have left Town requiring just a single point from either Friday's game at Sheffield United or the home game with Cardiff City on May 9th. However, with results going the way they did - West Ham and Palace both winning and Wigan drawing at home with Sunderland - the whole play-off picture is wide open again with six sides capable of over taking the Blue's. The remaining fixtures for the clubs in contention for a play-off berth are shown below.

Play-Off contenders remaining fixtures
May 1: Crewe (home)
May 4: Norwich (home)
May 9: Burnley (a)
April 30: Sheffield United (away)
May 9: Cardiff (home)
May 1: Watford (home)
May 9: Wigan (away)
May 1: Forest (away)
May 9: West Ham (home)
May 1: Walsall (home)
May 9: Coventry (away)
April 30: Town (home)
May 9: Preston (away)
May 1: West Brom (home)
May 9: Watford (away)
May 1: Derby (away)
May 9: Bradford (home)

Jim Magilton picked-up a deadleg on Saturday and was replaced by Shefki Kuqi with fifteen minutes remaining. The Town captain, however, should be available for Friday's trip to Yorkshire. Tommy Miller, who missed the Forest game with a hamstring injury, is also expected to make the journey.

Any Town fans still hoping to take advantage of the clubs free coach travel offer to Sheffield United are out of luck as all places have now been taken.

Elsewhere, in the final extract of an interview to mark UEFA's Jubilee, Sir Bobby Robson talks about coaching abroad and how he came to his current job with UEFA Cup semi-finalists Newcastle United here.

Sunday, April 25

Town 1 Forest 2

Former Town striker David Johnson struck in the 11th and 55th minutes at Portman Road yesterday to give Nottingham Forest a 2-1 victory. Dean Bowditch equalised Johnson's first effort after 34 minutes but a number of missed chances, and the intervention of the woodwork in the closing stages, means that Town must win a least one of their two remaining games, away to Sheffield United this Friday and at home to Cardiff on May 9th, to ensure a play-off finish.

"We had more than 20 attempts at goal but we hit the post and missed countless chances" said Joe Royle after the game "I had the feeling that this match could be the trickiest of our final three. Forest at full strength are one of the better sides in the division. They proved that today."

He added "We are determined to get the job done next week" referring to the trip to Bramall Lane.

Elsewhere, James Scowcroft was one target for Leicester City in their Premiership relegation dogfight with Manchester City, the game ending 1-1, and former Academy defender Lee Beevers scored his second of the season for Boston United as they beat Leyton Orient 3-1 at Brisbane Road.

Friday, April 23

Tommy Miller is almost certain to miss out on tomorrow's game with Nottingham Forest. The midfielder has failed to overcome the hamstring injury that forced his substitution at Gillingham last weekend. Martijn Reuser is Miller's most likely replacement having made such at impact when he was introduced at Priestfield. The Dutchman scored from a free-kick and also provided the cross for Darren Bent's winner. Dean Bowditch is also likely to be in the starting eleven ahead of Shefki Kuqi who was taken off after just 30 minutes last Saturday.

Town Squad: Kelvin Davis, Fabian Wilnis, John McGreal, Matt Elliott, Richard Naylor, Drissa Diallo, Georges Santos, Matt Richards, Jermaine Wright, Jim Magilton, Ian Westlake, Martijn Reuser, Shefki Kuqi, Darren Bent, Dean Bowditch and Lewis Price.

Paul Gerrard will make his second appearance at Portman Road this season when he lines up in goal for Nottingham Forest. Gerrard, who made five appearances for Town last season, while on loan from Everton, appeared in goal for Sheffield United in their 3-0 loss at Ipswich earlier this season. Gerrard joined Forest on loan five games ago and has yet to finish on the losing side for Joe Kinnear's side.

Town skipper Jim Magilton and a number of other Town representatives will be in London Sunday night for the annual PFA Awards Dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel, and elsewhere, in the third extract of an interview to mark UEFA's Jubilee, Sir Bobby Robson talks about his days in charge of the England team and his move to continental Europe.

Sir Bobby defies gravity 23 years ago

Town captain Jim Magilton "would definitely be on my short list for player of the year" says Joe Royle. "Jim has been terrific all season and to think he was actually on a free transfer when I came here". Supporters have their chance to vote in the Player of the Year poll at Portman Road this Saturday.

Tommy Miller remains Town's main injury concern ahead of the Nottingham Forest game. The midfielder pulled a hamstring at Gillingham last weekend and has not joined his team mates for training since.

Should results elsewhere go Town's way a top six finish could be confirmed at the weekend if maximum points are taken from Forest. If West Ham and Crystal Palace suffer defeats at respectively, Stoke City and Crewe Alexandra, and both Millwall and Sheffield United fail to win their matches at Reading and Walsall, then Town will be play-off bound.

If Town do make the Division One play-offs, on either this or one of the two remaining weekends of the season, it will be the sixth occasion that they have done so since the inaugural divisional play-offs in 1986.

And finally, the UEFA Cup tie between Newcastle United and Marseille last night was the first time in exactly 23 years that Sir Uncle Bobby had managed an English side in a European semi-final. On the last occasion Terry Butcher headed home in the Muengersdorfer Stadium to secure Town a 2-0 aggregate win against 1FC Koeln and a place in the 1981 UEFA final :-)

Thursday, April 22

Canaries promoted

Our dear neighbours to the north secured a return to the Premiership last night, after a gap of nine years, following Sunderland's 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. Sunderland had remained the only team that could catch the Canaries on points.

Town Chairman David Sheepshanks "I will be among the first to offer my personal well done to everyone at Norwich City" and manager Joe Royle "It is a great achievement and they have hit the heights of consistency all season" where amongst the first to offer their congratulations. Sheepshanks added "I hope very much that we now embark on a successful set of six games and join them to maintain the continuity of local derbies."

Four academy players are in the Republic of Ireland U-17's squad that take on Turkey in the first of two friendlies tonight. They are 'keeper Shan Supple, Michael Synnott, Cathal Lordan and Billy Clarke. The second game takes place on Saturday.

Former Town midfielder/defender/striker Micky Stockwell and Woodbridge Town have avoided relegation from the Ridgeons Premier Division following a nine match unbeaten run. Stockwell joined Woodbridge a few weeks into the current season following an unsuccessful four match run as player coach of Heybridge Swifts. He has hit nine goals for the Woodpecker's so far this season and has recently been joined at the club by former Academy defender Erdem Artum.

Wednesday, April 21

Renewals by May 28th

The club have announced season ticket prices for 2004/05 and as previously promised the cost of renewals has been frozen. However, existing season ticket holders have only until May 28th to submit their applications, after which price increases of around 10% take effect. This is, coincidentally, the day before a potential play-off final game at the Millennium Stadium. Renewal brochures will be posted to the 19,000 existing season ticket holders later this week.

Youngsters Scott Mitchell, Dean Bowditch and Liam Craig all scored last night to give the Town reserve side a 3-1 win over Portsmouth last night. Svetoslav Todorov had given Pompey the lead after 30 minutes but Mitchell equalised early in the second half. Bowditch then put Town ahead from an Alun Armstrong cross and Craig hit the third from the penalty spot in the final minutes of the game.

Joe Royle talks about Town's "angry players" in today's EADT. Martijn Reuser indicated after Saturdays win at Gillingham he would like to leave the club in the summer and Shefki Kuqi was less than pleased at being subbed after just 30 minutes in the same game. The likes of Drissa Diallo and Fabian Wilnis have also been dropped in recent weeks but Royle says "Whatever you say about these players you can not fault their dedication to the club and their spirit, because they keep bouncing back. The spirit as a team is phenomenal. I have a picture at home of them celebrating the winner at Crystal Palace and I was delighted to see that physical pyramid with Shefki the scorer at the bottom. It shows how everyone is in it together."

Town have virtually a full strength squad going into the final three games of the regular season and a possible three play-off games. Only Chris Makin is a long term casualty and Pablo Counago, still struggling with a groin injury, is unlikely to feature until the Cardiff game at the earliest.

Tuesday, April 20

Darren Bent (left), who reached his personal target of 15 goals for the season with the winner at Gillingham on Saturday, has revised the target and now aims to end the campaign with a tally of 20. The U-21 England international has a strike rate of one goal every two-and-a-half games, which is comparable to the record of Blue's legend Paul Mariner and more recently David Johnson (All-time leading Town marksman Ray Crawford's rate was one every game-and-a-half if you were wondering).

Johnson himself will almost certainly be in the starting line-up for Forest on Saturday in Town's penultimate home fixture of the season. He scored in their 2-2 draw with Millwall last weekend in his first full start for the side since breaking a leg back in September.

Bent, along with Ian Westlake and Matt Richards, where under the watchful eye of England U-21 coach David Platt at Priestfield on Saturday as the former England, Forest, Sampdoria and Arsenal midfielder looks to build the nucleus of the English senior side for the 2008 European Championships.

Tommy Miller will not line-up for Scotland in their friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen next Wednesday. He was in Berti Vogts initial list for the trip but has not made it into the final 26-man squad. Town's midfielder was replaced by Martijn Reuser in the second half of the Gillingham game, having suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury, and is rated at only 50-50 for the Forest game.

Drissa Diallo and John McGreal are receiving treatment for, respectively, knee and foot injuries but, along with 'keeper Kelvin Davis, who has recovered from his weekend stomach upset, are expected to play on Saturday.

Lewis Price, who deputised for Kelvin Davis at Gillingham, will line-up for the reserves as they face Portsmouth on the south coast this evening. Also expected to contribute to proceedings tonight are Dean Bowditch, Alun Armstrong and Chris Bart-Williams.

And finally, the clubs thank you to fan's for the excellent away supporter this season, in the form of free coach travel to the Sheffield United game, has been extended to regular travellers on supporter's coaches from Clacton and Haverhill. Which means I get to travel for free too!

Monday, April 19

Reuser wants out

Martijn Reuser, Town's match winner at Gillingham, is tired of the super-sub label and wants away from Portman Road in the summer. "Ipswich is a great club but I'll look elsewhere in the summer. I hate to be a super-sub. It was great for the team and I'm happy we have won, but I'm fed up with it". The Dutchman has a year left on his contract but was given a free transfer by Joe Royle at the back end of last year.

Shefki Kuqi, who stormed off after being substituted in the first half on Saturday, will not be having words with Joe Royle about the decision: "I have been taken off a couple of times this season and have accepted it. Usually I agree with the manager, but not on this occasion. He is still one of the best managers I have ever had and I really like him, so I won't be going to see him or anything".

At least Joe Royle was upbeat in the wake of Saturday's comeback: "We were abysmal in the first half. I think it was our worst 45 minutes since we lost the first six games at the start of the season. I made changes because I had to. I know Shefki (Kuqi) was disappointed with the decision but Richard Naylor came on and gave us more. Martijn Reuser has been doing that all season for us. He scored a great free-kick, and then made the second and I thought we looked as if we were going to score a third. We want to get in to the play-offs, with three games left, but it's the players who have done it and that was our sixth win in seven games."

Town's U-19's finished their league season with a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Owen Garvan, who featured for the Republic of Ireland U-16's the preceding weekend, netted the winner in the second-half.

Elsewhere, Ian Crook has been sacked as coach of Australian NSL side Newcastle United. Crook was named Australian Coach of the Year in May 2002 after taking Newcastle to the NSL finals. He repeated the feat in 2003 but in the 2003/04 season they finished third bottom and that was that. Which is obviously a great shame! At the other end of the table former Town striker Mich D'Avray managed NSL Perth Glory to their second successive Championship earlier this month.

Sunday, April 18

Priestfield yesterday

Ipswich came from behind at the Priestfield Stadium yesterday to claim all three points in a 2-1 win.

Martijn Reuser, on as a second half substitute for Tommy Miller, curled home a 25-yard free-kick to cancel out John Hill's early penalty for the Gills. A few minutes later the Dutchman turned provider when his cross was powerfully headed home by Darren Bent for his 15th of the season.

Town's sixth win in their last seven outings moves them up to fourth in the table and marked the senior debut of 'keeper Lewis Price appearing in place of Kelvin Davis who was ruled out with a stomach bug.

The U-19's, who played their final league game of the season at Crystal Palace yesterday, competed in the Claudio Sassi Memorial trophy in Italy last weekend. They recorded a 2-0 win in their opening game against the New York ProZone, followed by a nil-nil draw with Bologna and a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Castlefranco.

Four of that squad have been selected for the Republic of Ireland U-17's trip for two friendlies against Turkey on April 22nd and April 24th. They are 'keeper Shan Supple, Michael Synnott, Cathal Lordan and Billy Clarke. Clarke made his reserve team debut in the 1-0 victory against Fulham last Wednesday.

Elsewhere, former Town striker Neil Gregory (or lard arse as he was affectionately known to North Standers) along with ex-Blues Neil Midgley and John Kennedy where part of the Canvey Island side that clinched the Ryman League Premier Division title earlier this month. The Gulls where presented with the trophy after last weekends home fixture with Billericay Town.

Friday, April 16

Loyalty Rewarded: Free bus travel to Sheffield

Town will take a sixteen-man squad to the Priestfield Stadium tomorrow for game with Gillingham. Given the Blue's recent record of five wins out of six it is unlikely that manager Joe Royle will alter the starting line-up much from that which saw off Sunderland on Monday.

Richard Naylor impressed in Wednesday's reserve victory over Fulham, playing a central defensive role in the first half before moving up front for the second and hitting the winner. Georges Santos, Martijn Reuser and Drissa Diallo all played the full ninety minutes against the Cottager's, and are also included in the travelling sixteen. Chris Bart-Williams completed the game too but has yet to fully recover from his recent back injury and will not be travelling.

With the exception of Bart-Williams, and long term absentee Chris Makin, Town are back at full strength for the trip to Kent giving manager Joe Royle one or two pleasant selection headaches.

Town squad: Darren Bent, Dean Bowditch, Kelvin Davis, Drissa Diallo, Matt Elliott, Shefki Kuqi, Jim Magilton, John McGreal, Tommy Miller, Richard Naylor, Lewis Price, Martijn Reuser, Matt Richards, Georges Santos, Ian Westlake, Fabian Wilnis.

Free coach travel, to Town's final away game of the season at Sheffield United, is being provided for fans that use Galloways Coach Service. "Our away support this year has been absolutely fantastic and so we wanted to make a gesture of thanks to those fans who, week in, week out, support the Club across the land" says Chief Executive Derek Bowden on the official site. The Club, supported by main sponsors Powergen, will be giving rebates to those supporters that have already purchased coach tickets for the trip.

Lewis Price will attend a three-day training camp with the Welsh U-21 squad at the end of this month. Price, who was born in Bournemouth, qualifies for Welsh selection through his father. The camp is part of the side's preparation for the UEFA 2006 U-21 qualifying campaign.

And finally, Priestfield was the venue for my first ever Football League game in which the Gills and Torquay United played out a two-two draw. But then I'm sure that's of no interest to anyone.

Thursday, April 15

Naylor winner

Richard Naylor hit an 80th minute winner as Town defeated Fulham 1-0 last night in the final reserve game of the season. Town's longest serving player back healed the ball into the net from a Martijn Reuser cross. Bobby Petta made his first appearance at Portman Road since his move to Glasgow Celtic in the summer of 1999. He has been on loan with the Cottager's since December of last year.

Around 300 additional debentures will offered to Town fans as part of the 2004-05 season ticket drive. 5 year debentures will be made available as an alternative to the 5 and 10 year debentures previously offered by the club. Prices for the debentures will be the same irrespective of which division Town find themselves in come August.

Elsewhere, in the second extract from an interview to mark UEFA's Jubilee, Sir Bobby Robson talks about his first steps as a coach at Ipswich, and how he put his ideas into practice to bring success for Town in the UEFA Cup here.

And finally, as has been mentioned elsewhere, Tommy Miller kept up his 100% penalty conversion rate in Monday's win over Sunderland. By my reckoning that's seventeen in a row since his first for Hartlepool against Mansfield in October, 1999:

  1. 16-10-1999 Mansfield 2 HARTLEPOOL 3
  2. 03-01-2000 HARTLEPOOL 3 ROCHDALE 2
  3. 05-09-2000 HARTLEPOOL 3 Burnley 2
  4. 16-09-2000 HARTLEPOOL 2 Macclesfield 2
  5. 02-12-2000 HARTLEPOOL 1 Southend 0
  6. 06-01-2001 HARTLEPOOL 2 Exeter 0
  7. 09-01-2001 HARTLEPOOL 3 Doncaster 1
  8. 10-02-2001 HARTLEPOOL 3 Blackpool 1
  9. 13-02-2001 Carlisle 2 HARTLEPOOL 3
  10. 01-01-2003 IPSWICH 4 Millwall 1
  11. 25-01-2003 Sheffield United 4 IPSWICH 3
  12. 05-04-2003 IPSWICH 3 Nottingham Forest 4
  13. 09-08-2003 IPSWICH 1 Reading 1
  14. 08-11-2003 Derby 2 IPSWICH 2
  15. 29-11-2003 Cardiff 2 IPSWICH 3
  16. 07-03-2004 Norwich 3 IPSWICH 1
  17. 12-04-2004 IPSWICH 1 Sunderland 0

Wednesday, April 14

November hat-trick hero

Richard Naylor, Georges Santos, Drissa Diallo, Martijn Reuser and Alun Armstrong will all be looking forward to tonight's reserve game with Fulham at Portman Road as an opportunity to challenge for a place in the squad that travels to Gillingham this Saturday. Town thrashed the Cottager's 6-1 at Woking FC, back in November, with Dean Bowditch netting a hat-trick. This is Town's reserve's final home game of the season.

Town squad: Lewis Price, Scott Mitchell, Scott Barron, Georges Santos, Richard Naylor, Drissa Diallo, Martijn Reuser, Alfie Kamara, Liam Craig, Alun Armstrong, Chris Bart-Williams, Stuart Boardley, Daniel Flack, Aidan Collins, Jerome Sobers, Clarke and Shane Supple.

Glasgow Celtic are apparently showing an interest in Dean Bowditch and Darren Bent although no formal approach has been made to the club. Bowditch has previously been linked with Arsenal while Bent has also been linked with Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester City.

Released Town striker Sam Morrow played for Colchester Reserves against Northampton Town yesterday afternoon as he continues his search for a permanent home. Morrow also played in a trial match for Stockport County against Macclesfield last Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 13

Tommy Miller's penalty just before half-time was enough to earn Town all three points in yesterdays home game with Sunderland in a superb all-round display. In what manager Joe Royle described as a "functional, rather than inspirational" performance, Town's penalty was awarded after Darren Bent was floored by Sunderland keeper Thomas Myhre. Town had further chances to increase the lead in a game that was not littered with goal-mouth action but was an engrossing encounter nonetheless. It was also only the sixth time this season that the Blue's have kept a clean sheet.

Former Town favourite Marcus Stewart has given a rapturous reception when he came on as sub in the 66th minute. Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy was suitably impressed: "It is good to see a player come back to a club and be recognised and appreciated for what he did instead of getting abuse because he is playing for the opposition. It was nice, but then you would expect that from Ipswich fans."

Fabian Wilnis, dropped for the game at Millmoor on Saturday, recorded with 200th appearance for Town. Wilnis, signed from Dutch side De Graafschap, made his Town debut in January, 1999.

Elsewhere, former Town defender Thomas Gaardsoe was red carded in the final minute of West Brom's 1-1 draw at Millwall and ex-Blues striker Richard Logan scored in Peterborough United's 3-1 home win over Port Vale, his seventh goal for the Posh this season.

Monday, April 12


Goals from Jermaine Wright, Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi earned Town a 3-1 victory against Rotherham on Saturday and moved the Blue's up to 5th in Division One. Town were a goal down at the break after a static defence had allowed Chris Sedgwick to score after 24 minutes, but an absolute corker of a goal from Jermaine Wright on 67 levelled the scores. Wright's 30-yard Goal of the Season volley lifted Town and there was only going to be one winner after that. Although the winning goals came late. Latching on to a through-ball Bent netted with just the 'keeper to beat after 88 minutes, and after Kelvin Davis had deflected a shot onto his right-hand upright, Kuqi secured the points with a low drive from acute angle on the stroke of full-time.

"For once, luck favoured us a little" said Joe Royle afterwards "We were poor in the first-half and they hit the post when it was 1-0 and then right at the end, they hit the woodwork again and we went straight up the other end and made it 3-1".

Town take on Sunderland at Portman Road at 3:00pm today. With no injury victims from Saturday's game in South Yorkshire, and Richard Naylor having recovered from a broken toe, the squad to face Marcus Stewart and co is likely to be:

Kelvin Davis, Lewis Price, Fabian Wilnis, Matt Richards, Scott Mitchell, John McGreal, Matt Elliott, Richard Naylor, Georges Santos, Drissa Diallo, Jim Magilton, Tommy Miller, Ian Westlake, Jermaine Wright, Martijn Reuser, Marcus Bent, Dean Bowditch, Shefki Kuqi and Alun Armstrong

Tommy Miller will undergo surgery on his jaw as soon as the season comes to a conclusion. The Town midfielder has recently attracted the attention of Scottish manager Berti Vogts and has been named in an preliminary squad for the Scot's friendly in Copenhagen against Denmark on April 28th. With Town playing Sheffield United two days later Joe Royle will hope that he doesn't make the final cut.

Ian Smith, Academy Assistant Director, and an academy squad are currently in Italy where they are taking part in the Claudio Sassi Memorial Tournament. They flew out to Italy on Thursday.

Missing from the trip are Darryl Knights and Owen Garvan who are on international duty with, respectively, the England U-16's and Republic of Ireland U-16's.

Knights added to the goal he scored in England's 3-1 against the USA on Friday. He hit a cracking drive from the edge of the penalty area to bring Sunday's game with Italy level at 2-2. The Italians, however, won 3-2 through a late winner. The England youngsters now face Montaigu Tournament hosts France today in a 5th/6th place play-off.

Garvan played the first 45 minutes of the Republic's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Russia in the Castelo Blanco Tournament, a game that also took place yesterday.

And finally, former academy defender Will Snowdon made his debut for SPL side Livingston on Wednesday night in their 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock. He was also a non-playing substitute in yesterday's Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park which Livi lost 3-1 to Celtic.

Saturday, April 10

Eighteen players have been named in the squad for the Easter Weekends fixtures starting with today's game against Rotherham United at Millmoor:

Alun Armstrong, Darren Bent, Dean Bowditch, Kelvin Davis, Drissa Diallo, Matt Elliott, Shefki Kuqi, Jim Magilton, John McGreal, Tommy Miller, Scott Mitchell, Lewis Price, Martijn Reuser, Matt Richards, Georges Santos, Ian Westlake, Fabian Wilnis and Jermaine Wright.

Alun Armstrong has recovered from a hip injury while Ian Westlake and captain Jim Magilton will both face late fitness tests before today's game. Westlake is recovering from knee and calf injuries sustained in a tackle in the West Brom defeat and Magilton is confident he will have recovered from a sciatic nerve problem in his back to lead out the side (helpful diagram to left).

John McGeal (ankle) will not make the trip to Yorkshire today but will hope to involved in Monday's home game with Sunderland.

Town manager Joe Royle will want no repeat of last seasons fiasco at Millmoor that saw Town concede two late goals in a 2-1 defeat that effectively ended hopes of making the play-offs.

Pablo Counago (hamstring) and Richard Naylor (broken toe) should have recovered sufficiently from their respective injuries to face Fulham reserves at Portman Road next Wednesday night. The match with the Cottager's is Steve McCall's side's final home game of the FA Premier Reserve League season. They then face four consecutive away fixtures at Portsmouth, Leicester City,

Extra Reading

The 10 best managerial celebrations

Mad Scots: Hearts plan SPL trip to Oz?

Latest updates on the new movie "Goal!"

Friday, April 9

Academy striker Darryl Knight's goal rounded off a tremendous performance by the England U-16's in a 3-1 victory over the USA in the Montaigu Tournament last night. Following the disappointment of losing to Ivory Coast 1-0 on Wednesday, the England youngsters went one down to the American's after 46 minutes but came storming back with goals from Myles Weston (Charlton) (pictured), Joe Garner (Blackburn) and Knight on 68. England's next game in this French hosted tournament is on Saturday against Italy.

Joe Royle would like to end his managerial career at Ipswich, having guided them to the Premiership first, but has no fixed date for retirement in mind. In his EADT column yesterday he said that he was taken aback when it was pointed out that Saturday's match at Rotherham will put him just 20 shy of 1000 as a manager. He said 1000-up would be a fabulous milestone that he would love to celebrate with Ipswich back in the top flight.

Tuesday's traffic jam on the A1, that prevented the reserves from reaching Nottingham for their fixture with Forest, also scuppered the chances of a number of senior players to strut their stuff in front of BFJ, ahead of the Easter weekend fixtures with Rotherham and Sunderland. With John McGreal (ankle) almost certainly out of the reckoning and Ian Westlake (knee and calf) and captain Jim Magilton (hamstring) still uncertainties Martijn Reuser, Drissa Diallo and Alun Armstrong along with youngster Scott Mitchell would all have been looking to press for a place in the starting eleven.

Chris Bart-Williams back injury continues to hamper his comeback and he may have to see a specialist. He along with Pablo Counago (hamstring) and Richard Naylor (broken toe) will not be in the squad for Millmoor.

Sam Morrow, released by Town last week, has impressed during his trial period at Stockport. The 19 year old striker, who played in the Hatters reserves game against Macclesfield Wednesday night, has represented Northern Ireland at both Under-17 and Under-19 levels.

Thursday, April 8

Happy birthday to Town manager Joe Royle!

Royle, who was born just along the road from the gates of Everton's Goodison Park, celebrates his 55th birthday today. He will also celebrate his 980th game as a manager against Rotherham at Millmoor on Saturday (his 82nd in charge of Town).

Fabian Wilnis will make his 200th appearance for the club on Saturday. The Dutchman, a team mate of former Town midfield ace Romeo Zondervan at NAC Breda, joined Town from SC De Graafschap in January 1999.

England's U-16's lost their opening Montaigu Tournament group game 1-0 to the Ivory Coast yesterday. Academy striker Darryl Knights is among the 18 strong squad participating in this annual tournament in France.

Town's reserve game at Nottingham Forest due to be played last night was postponed due to traffic delays on the way from Suffolk to Nottinghamshire. The next scheduled reserve fixture is next Wednesday when the second string take on Fulham at Portman Road.

Former Town striker, and now manager of Perth Glory, Mich D'Avray has led the Western Australian's to their second successive League Championship title, after they beat Parramatta Power in extra time of the championship final. The South African also landed the Manager of the Year award.

Ian Westlake and Jim Magilton are both making quicker that anticipated recoveries from their weekend injuries, but John McGreal, who twisted an ankle in last Thursday's training session and subsequently missed the West Brom game, is not. It remains to be seen whether any of the three will be involved in the Rotherham game while both Richard Naylor (broken toe) and Pablo Counago (hamstring) are almost certainly out of the reckoning.

Alan Brazil, the ex-Town and Scotland forward, has returned to Talksport radio after a reconciliation with station manager Kelvin MacKenzie. Brazil was fired by Talksport after failing to show up for the breakfast show that he presents two weeks ago.

19-year-old keeper Sven Veldhuizen has returned home to Holland after a trial with Town's youth side. The highly rated youngster, from FC Zwolle, spent several days with the club earlier this week.

And finally, midfielder Tommy Miller has been named in Berti Vogts provisional squad for Scotland's friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen at the end of this month. The final squad will be named the week before.

Extra Reading

Coke Nazi Advert Challenge: The sponsors of next seasons Football League Cup also provided funding for the 1936 Nazi Olympics

Ipswich better than leaders - Royle: Pink 'Un writer Chris Lakey has a dig at BFJ

Changing the face of Albania: The role of the FIFA Goal Programme

Wednesday, April 7

Town's new away kit for the 2004/05 season was on display at a fashion show last night at the Galleria Restaurant. As not entirely unexpected it will be Orange and Black Black (similar to the one sported by Paul Mason in the 98/99 season (left)). A one year extension to Powergen's sponsorship package was also announced.

Town manager Joe Royle has warned of high drama over the remaining six weeks of the season. "This is going right down to the last game of the season. It is that tight that even when Cardiff come here in May they could still be in with a chance. We certainly will be." The Blue's are in ninth place in Division One, but despite last weekends 3-2 loss to West Brom are still just three points behind third placed Sunderland.

Jim Magilton has joined Ian Westlake on the injury list from Sunday's game with West Brom. Town's captain has a tight hamstring and is a doubt for the match with Rotherham at Millmoor on Saturday. Westlake is also a doubt having suffered knee and calf injuries.

Neither the Police or the Football League are to take any further action over the fisticuffs between Kelvin Davis and Albion's Darren Moore in the players tunnel on Sunday which left one steward injured. Match referee Graham Laws has made no mention of the incident in his official report and the Police have received no official complaint regarding the fracas.

Teenage age striker Sam Morrow is to have a trial with Stockport County, having been released by Town last week, and Cambridge born defender Erkan Okay has joined Aylesbury United.

Academy striker Darryl Knights will be hoping for a place in the England U-16's line-up as they take on the Ivory Coast in the first of The Montaigu Tournament group games in France today.

Elsewhere, in the first extract from an interview to mark UEFA's Jubilee, Sir Bobby Robson talks about how the coaching methods - or lack of them - from his early playing days were to influence his later career as a manager here.

Tuesday, April 6

Matt Elliott has agreed to a loan extension that will keep him at Town until the end of the season. The 35-year-old Scot joined Town on loan from Leicester, initially for a month, just before the game at Walsall in mid-March.

Joe Royle is still aiming for a third place finish and asks Town supporters to keep the faith. He praised the vocal encouragement given to the team against West Brom and was particularly pleased with the standing ovation given to his side at the end of the game despite Albion's last minute winner.

Ian Westlake picked up knee and calf injuries in a robust second-half challenge on West Brom's James Chambers on Sunday. He is Town's main injury concern ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday programme that sees Town visit Rotherham on Saturday and play host to losing FA Cup Semi-Finalists Sunderland next Monday.

John Wark competed in the Home Nations 2004 Masters Tournament on Friday night at the Welsh National Ice Arena, Cardiff. The Town legend lined up for his native Scotland in a team that included Bryan Gunn and Frank McAvennie. The Scots lost 3-2 to eventual winners England, drew 2-2 with Wales and 4-4 with Ireland to finish 3rd overall.

Monday, April 5

Town manager Joe Royle was left less than happy with two key refereeing decisions, both involving Geoff Horsfield, which denied the Blue's any points from yesterday's televised clash with West Brom. Matt Elliott was penalised for holding Horsfield when the decision should have gone the other way. Jason Koumas scored from the resulting free-kick. And Horsfield looked several yards offside when he scored the winner in time added on at the end of the second half.

Tommy Miller had given Town a well deserved lead just before the break when he converted Dean Bowditch's cross. The Koumas free-kick, after 71 minutes, followed minutes later by a goal from Lloyd Dyer put the visitors ahead before Darren Bent levelled with 12 minutes to go. This appeared to have salvaged a point for Town until Horsfield's late strike.

On Saturday old boys Kieron Dyer scored for Newcastle in the Toon's 4-2 win over Everton (Darren Ambrose providing the assist) and Richard Logan hit his fifth league goal of the season in Peterborough's 4-2 win against Swindon.

Andy Marshall's Millwall reached the FA Cup Final for the first time in their history as they beat Marcus Stewart and his Sunderland team mates 1-0 at Old Trafford yesterday. Marshall who signed a permanent with the Wall last month talks about completing his comeback here.

Also at the weekend: Russel Osman's Bristol Rovers inched further away from the Third Division drop zone with a 2-1 win over Cheltenham. The former Town defender was appointed joint caretaker manager, alongside Kevan Broadhurst, of the Pirates on March 22nd. Former Town midfielder Brian Talbot, who resigned from his position as manager at Rushden last month to take the helm at Oldham, saw his side pick up a point in a 1-1 draw at Luton. Oldham are just a point shy of the Second Division trap door.

Former Town keeper Richard Wright is on the way back from a shoulder injury sustained when he fell out of the loft of his Ipswich home last summer. Wright has played in Everton's last five reserve games, and will be looking to displace Nigel Martyn from the number one spot next season.

And finally, Town reserves are at Nottingham Forest tomorrow night (ko 7:00pm).

Help save Brighton & Hove Albion

Help save the south coast club by completing their online petition and forwarding these links to others:





Sunday, April 4

Academy striker Darryl Knights is currently with the England U-16's in Montaigu, France. The England youngsters have at least three games over the Easter holiday period against Ivory Coast, USA and Italy and a possible forth should they win the group stage of this international youth tournament.

John McGreal will face a late fitness test before today's game with West Brom having injured an ankle in training on Friday. Drissa Diallo is the most likely replacement but has yet to play alongside loan signing Matt Elliott. Elliott was signed as cover for Diallo after the Guinean International received a facial injury during the 3-1 home defeat my Millwall three weeks ago. Should McGeal pass the fitness test Town will start the game with a line-up unchanged from that which started against Watford and Wimbledon, namely: Kelvin Davis, Fabian Wilnis, John McGreal, Matt Elliott, Matt Richards, Jermaine Wright, Tommy Miller, Jim Magilton, Ian Westlake, Darren Bent and Dean Bowditch. Subs from: Lewis Price, Drissa Diallo, Georges Santos, Martijn Reuser, Shefki Kuqi and Alun Armstrong.

The Academy have teamed up with Teknical the Hull-based electronic learning specialists. The aim is to provide the Academy with a web-based knowledge and training database that can be accessed by coaches and young players currently linked to the club or boys and girls with a keen interest in playing the game. Teknical are part of the Serco group of which Town director Kevin Beeston is executive chairman.

Town's U-19's drew nil-nil with their counterparts from Birmingham City yesterday morning at Playford Road.

Help save Brighton & Hove Albion

Help save the south coast club by completing their online petition and forwarding these links to others:





Saturday, April 3

Town's U-19's will be looking to make it three wins in a row when they take on Birmingham City at Playford Road this morning (kick-off 11:00am). A 3-2 victory at Leicester last Saturday followed a 2-1 win over Reading a fortnight ago. Probably Squad: Supple, Synnott, Ainsley, Craid, Sobers, Patten, Garvan, Lordan, Beveridge, Atay, Clarke, Moore and Hammond.

John McGreal injured an ankle in training yesterday and is a potential doubt for Sunday's televised game with West Brom. He will undergo a fitness test today and again tomorrow before a decision is made on his inclusion in the squad.

Finidi George, who's contract with Town was settled during the close season, is playing on a play to be paid basis for Mallorca and must complete a miniumum of fifty minutes each game before he receives payment for his services. George re-signed for Mallorca in January the club for whom Town paid GBP3.1M for him in 2001.

Craig Reid, who joined the Academy from Coventry City in 2002, could be moving back to the Sky Blue's having being released by the club this week. Reid scored on 10 occasions for the U-19's this season including two from the penalty spot in their last home game with Reading.

The final league away game of the season with Sheffield United has been brought forward a day and will now be played on Friday April 30th (kick-off 07:45pm) in front of the Sky TV camera's.

Friday, April 2

Ian Smith, Academy Assistant Director, will be taking an U-19's team to Italy next week to participate in the Claudio Sassi Memorial Tournament. The tournament comprises two groups of four teams with the Town side paired with Bologna and Castelfranco and New York Pro Zone. The other group features Juventus, Modena, Sassuolo and another American team CASL Elite.

Joe Royle will almost certainly name an unchanged starting line-up, for the third consecutive game, for Sunday's visit of Thomas Gaardsoe and his West Brom team mates. Tommy Miller and Jermaine Wright are both expected to start after recovering from, respectively, a sore ankle picked up last weekend in Milton Keynes and a twisted ankle picked up in a training session on Tuesday. Both Alun Armstrong and Martijn Reuser survived the rigours of Wednesday's reserve game at West Ham. Both lasted the full 90 minutes and may well be on the bench. Also on the bench will be Shefki Kuqi who came through his international game for Finland, in Malta, unscathed.

Town's new away kit will be revealed at a fashion show in the Galleria at Portman Road next Tuesday together with a new range of the club's own 'Punch' branded clothing.

Thursday, April 1

Shefki Kuqi won his 34th cap for Finland last night in their 2-1 victory in Malta. The Town striker played the first 74 minutes before being replaced by Jari Niemi. He wasted a chance to give the Finn's the lead in the first half when he beat the offside trap but lobbed his shot over the crossbar. Alexei Yeremenko, however, broke the deadlock after 51 minutes and Jari Litmanen put the visitors two up on 86. Malta's Michael Mifsud scored a consolation goal for the home side three minutes into added-time.

Town manager Joe Royle was one of BBC Match of the Days co-commentators last night for their coverage of the Sweden-England friendly. Sven-Goran Eriksson's England however continued their 36-year winless streak against Sweden with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's scoring a 53rd minute winner.

Town's reserves lost 2-0 to West Ham last night at Dagenham's Victoria Road ground. Chris Cohen put the Hammer's one-up with a 76th minute penalty, awarded when Aidan Collins handled in the area, and the home sides second came seven minutes later from Stephen Gillespie.

Former Town defender Thomas Gaardsoe describes his return to Portman Road on Sunday with West Brom as a "massive" game. He remembers his time at Ipswich fondly: "I owe people there so much, because they were so good to me. There are a lot of people I really miss. I had a great time and I'm always going back to visit friends when I have time off."

Elsewhere, Newcastle United and Tottenham are reported to be watching Town striker Darren Bent, fellow forward Dean Bowditch is being watched by Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle and Ian Westlake by Manchester City.


March 2004   April 2004   May 2004   June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   February 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   November 2005   April 2008   May 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]

Back to the top ^^