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Kings of Anglia Issue 7 Magazine Offer With Jimmy Bullard and Tristan Nydam

Football friends! The intertwined journeys of Nsiala and Nolan

PUBLISHED: 19:00 10 August 2018

Toto Nsiala and Jon Nolan have been team-mates at Everton, Grimsby, Shrewsbury and now Ipswich Town. Photo: ITFC

Toto Nsiala and Jon Nolan have been team-mates at Everton, Grimsby, Shrewsbury and now Ipswich Town. Photo: ITFC

Archant

The footballing journeys of Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala are so intertwined, it’s no wonder one has started subconsciously imitating the other.

Born less than a month apart in 1995, both grew up in Liverpool and both were let go by Everton.

Both then dropped down into non-league and lost their way.

Both got their mojo back when working under Paul Hurst at Grimsby Town.

MORE: ‘I’ve always tried hard to prove people wrong’ – Nsiala ready for Championship challenge

Both then moved on to Football League clubs for a year – Nolan at Chesterfield and Nsiala at Hartlepool – before being reunited with Hurst at Shrewsbury.

It was fitting, therefore, that the pair joined Ipswich in a £2m double deal earlier this week having both handed in transfer requests.

“Toto and I shared the driving down from Liverpool to training last season,” said Nolan, speaking ahead of Town’s Championship game at newly-promoted Rotherham United tomorrow.

MORE: ‘It was the big turning point in my career’ - Nolan excited to be working under Hurst again

“He was living in Shrewsbury at the start but he moved back home to Liverpool halfway through the season. It wasn’t quite every day because we used to stay in a hotel on a Friday – a little treat for us.

“We spent a lot of time together and it’s been confirmed that we will be room-mates for our first Ipswich game at Rotherham on Saturday.

“But I wouldn’t go as far as saying we are inseparable – I like my own space every now and again and so does Toto.”

Nsiala jokes: “Me and Jon have known each other since we were 15/16. He’s just a great lad. I’ve probably spent too much time with him.

MORE: From Chalobah to Jackson - introducing Ipswich Town’s nine new faces

“Sometimes I go home and I’m acting like Jon and my missus doesn’t like it because he’s a grumpy one! It’s been great to progress with him.”

The modest Nsiala describes his game as ‘nothing special’, but Nolan disagrees.

“He’s a beast,” said the midfielder. “It’s rare to come across a centre-half with so much pace and when you add his power I’ve never seen anything like it. The fans are in for a treat there.”

On the strengths of his own game, Nolan – who looks to have been brought in as a direct replacement for Martyn Waghorn – added: “I’ll move things forward and I’m a good footballer. I’m not really a natural 10 but I can play in that position. I’m more of an eight, up and down, really.

MORE: Forward and centre-back wanted on loan after dramatic deadline day

“It’s my first opportunity to play in the Championship and one I’m going to grab with both hands.”

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst will speak to the media this afternoon ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Derby County.

Women’s National League

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Ipswich Town 1

Ipswich Town Women got their new campaign off to the worst possible start as they suffered a convincing 5-1 defeat to newly-promoted Crawley Wasps on the opening day of the new National League season, writes Kieren Standley.

Janoi Donacien immediately felt a sense of togetherness following his arrival at Ipswich Town.

Andy Warren gives his Sunday verdict at the end of a week where Ipswich Town exited the Carabao Cup to Exeter and drew 1-1 with Aston Villa.

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce believes his side played better against a full strength Ipswich side than they did after the Blues were reduced to 10 men.

I drove 400 miles from Cornwall for Saturday’s game - and I was delighted I made the effort. The performance, and the atmosphere, perfectly summed up the excitement of the new era at Portman Road, writes North Stander Terry Hunt.

Watch match highlights of Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Portman Road on Saturday.

Andy Warren gives his thoughts on the Blues 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst saluted his ‘warrior’ players and the Portman Road crowd following his side’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Paul Hurst believes referee Tim Robinson was wrong to send Tayo Edun off on an afternoon where the Blues boss was less than impressed with the standard of officiating.

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