Ipswich Town defender Cameron Burgess recently made his 100th appearance for the Blues. Ross Halls looks back at his journey at Portman Road so far...

East Anglian Daily Times: Cameron Burgess, pictured after signing for the club in the summer of 2021.Cameron Burgess, pictured after signing for the club in the summer of 2021. (Image: ITFC)


Following Paul Cook's 'Demolition Man' job of 2021, the centre-back became the 15th of 19 summer recruits, joining the Blues in a £750k deal from fellow League One side Accrington Stanley. 

He made his debut two days later, in a 2-1 defeat at Cheltenham Town. That was the beginning of a run of 10 successive league starts that culminated in a 2-2 draw at Cambridge.

Toto Nsiala, George Edmundson and Luke Woolfenden were all preferred ahead of him for a subsequent spell. Limited to a cup outings, he was involved in an EFL Trophy exit to Arsenal's U21s and the infamous FA Cup defeat at Barrow - a period in which Cook lost his job.

After Kieran McKenna was appointed, Burgess didn't feature for nearly three months before an injury to Edmundson opened the door.

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He came into a side still chasing the League One play-offs but the Blues fell short, finishing 11th in the third tier. Burgess was dismissed in a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury towards the end of that campaign. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Cameron Burgess wearing a mask after returning from his injury.Cameron Burgess wearing a mask after returning from his injury. (Image: Ross Halls)


Burgess was in and out of the side at the start of the 2022/23 season. Then, in a home game against Bristol Rovers, he slid in on Harvey Saunders and caught a knee to the face. That nasty collision left him requiring surgery to repair a fractured cheekbone and broken eye socket.

That injury came at a cruel time, given he was beginning to secure a regular starting spot, but wasn't long until he was back playing in a protective mask with more than 30 screws still in his face. It epitomised the club's 'running towards adversity' mantra.

After that, Burgess improved beyond all recognition. Along with his aerial dominance, he brought a left-footed balance to the defence and showed his ability to play out from the back. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Cameron Burgess battles with Eddie Nketiah at Wembley.Cameron Burgess battles with Eddie Nketiah at Wembley. (Image: PA)


Town, of course, stormed to automatic promotion in League One with 13 wins from their final 15 games.

Burgess was a key figure in the team that kept a club record nine clean sheets in a row, while he scored a memorable goal in the 2-0 win at Bolton, that very definition of ‘bullet header’ helping claim a crucial three points on the road. 

While others may have taken more headlines, he was an unsung hero during that period. 

Burgess' success with Town earned him a call up to the full Australia squad for the first time and he went on to make his debut in a 2-2 friendly draw against Mexico in September 2023.

“I think it's worth knowing Cameron's story," said McKenna, at that time. "Cameron probably didn't play in the first three months I was here. He was probably the only senior player in the squad who wasn't getting rotated in the team or wasn't getting minutes.

“That's why everyone here is so proud and so happy for him because he's a fantastic professional, he's worked so hard at the game, he's made huge strides over the last 18-20 months and we know how much it means to him to represent his country.”

Burgess has since won seven caps and got his first taste of a big international tournament in the Asian Cup back in January.

The centre-half was a big miss when he was away as Town's form dipped, which proves how important he is in this side. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Cameron Burgess in action for Town this season.Cameron Burgess in action for Town this season. (Image: Ross Halls)


Burgess' story arc at Town has been movie-worthy with him being one of the first names on the team sheet in the second tier. 

There were questions marks over whether some players would be capable of making the step up to the Championship, but Burgess has proved he can play at this level on a regular basis.

The defender looks so comfortable and assured on the ball, with him being part of so many good team goals this season. His world class low flighted pass over the top for George Hirst's goal against Blackburn is the prime example. 

He made his 100th appearance for Town in the derby day defeat at Norwich recently. That was a deflating day but a landmark moment for a player who has been on quite a journey. 

His contract at Ipswich runs out this summer but the club have an option for a further season. Without a doubt, I would give him a new deal, regardless of what league the Blues are in.