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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

He may be 6ft 5in tall, but Ipswich Town new boy Balint Bajner is much more than just a target man

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:16 01 August 2014

Balint Bajner in action at Gillingham. Photos: PAGEPIX LTD

Balint Bajner in action at Gillingham. Photos: PAGEPIX LTD

PAGEPIX LTD 07976 935738

He may be 6ft 5in tall, but Ipswich Town new boy Bálint Bajner is much more than just a target man.

So says manager Mick McCarthy after the towering Hungarian striker signed a one-year deal yesterday.

The 23-year-old – who, like French-Mauritian midfielder Kevin Bru, has become a permanent addition after impressing on trial – admits it was a dream come true to finally join an English club.

He spent a brief time on loan at West Ham as a teenager but never made an appearance there, his career path taking him to lower league football in his native Hungary, Romania and Italy before a spell of ‘B’ team football with German giants Borussia Dortmund.

“He’s not just an aerial target,” said McCarthy. “I think he’s got to get better at that actually – and I’m sure he will. He actually wants to head it.

“I think he’s done well in every (trial) game. He’s only 23 and I think he’s got improvement in him.”

Bajner – pronounced ‘By-ner’ – scored with a cultured curling finish in Tuesday night’s 2-1 friendly win at Southedn, internet compilation clips highlighting his technical ability rather than physical attributes.

“I try to be everything,” said the front man. “I want to get better at everything as a striker. I just want to show how I am (rather than talk about it).”

Bajner could barely contain his excitement at signing for the Blues when speaking at yesterday’s annual Open Day at Portman Road – more than 4,000 fans taking the chance to watch the first team train before getting autographs.

“My Hungarian agent has a contact with English agents who have the contacts with Ipswich,” he explained. “I thank them for getting me here and I thank the club for signing me. Now I concentrate on doing well.”

Asked if he knew much about Ipswich Town, Bajner replied: “Of course, because in my country everyone knows Ipswich is a big club.

“When I was young I looked to the TV for the Premier League and I know Mick McCarthy well from that. He is one of the best managers not only in England, but also in Europe. I’m really happy I can work with him. I think I will learn a lot.”

What was McCarthy’s message to him about forcing his way into the team?

“We didn’t speak about this too much,” said Bajner. “I am just pleased to sign here and now of course I will fight and work hard and try and learn a lot every day.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy was equally thrilled to have signed Bru – the 25-year-old having played for Bulgarian side Levski Sofia in the Europa League last season.

“I’ve been delighted with him,” said the Blues boss. “He’s a midfield player who looks a really gifted footballer.

“He was in the school of excellence at Clairfontaine (French National Football Centre) so he’s got a good background to him.

“Sometimes people drift for a while and I’m hoping that he can give us something. He looks a nice, talented, positive footballer who plays forward passes.”

Kayden Jackson is hoping his goal in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Brentford is the first of many as he continues to get to grips with the challenge of the Championship.

Paul Hurst doesn’t expect midfielder Teddy Bishop to be out for too long despite picking up a hamstring injury but Jon Walters is now a doubt for Saturday’s game with Bolton.

In our new daily feature, we take a look back at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town history.

Ipswich Town came-from-behind to draw 1-1 with Brentford at Portman Road last night. STUART WATSON gives his snap verdict.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst hailed the character of his players following their gutsy comeback draw against Brentford at Portman Road tonight.

Andy Warren hands out his player grades following Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw with Brentford at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town produced a second-half turnaround as they battled back to secure a 1-1 draw against Brentford on the night the club paid tribute to the late Kevin Beattie.

Ipswich Town take on Brentford this evening as they search for their first victory under manager Paul Hurst (7.45pm).

Ipswich Town’s players, staff, fans and legends paid an emotional tribute to the late, great, Kevin Beattie prior to kick-off of this evening’s clash with Brentford.

Paul Hurst is not hiding from the fact he could face the sack if his winless start to life as Ipswich Town manager goes on much longer.

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