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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Walters was once Hurst’s ‘type’… he can inspire Ipswich’s Championship new boys to follow his path

PUBLISHED: 20:00 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 21:26 30 August 2018

Jon Walters is back at Ipswich Town after first signing for the Blues in 2007. Picture: ITFC

Jon Walters is back at Ipswich Town after first signing for the Blues in 2007. Picture: ITFC

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Andy Warren takes a look at the impact Jon Walters can have at Ipswich Town following his return to Portman Road.

Walters was a Chester player when Ipswich Town signed him in 2007. Picture: PAWalters was a Chester player when Ipswich Town signed him in 2007. Picture: PA

New Ipswich boss Paul Hurst has a ‘type’, that much is clear.

Starting with Trevoh Chalobah and ending with Jordan Graham, the first 10 players through the door at the start of his reign had a combined 13 Championship starts to their name prior to arriving at Portman Road.

A dozen of those belonged to Graham, the other Tayo Edun, with the likes of Jon Nolan, Toto Nsiala and Kayden Jackson all experiencing a first taste of the second tier.

Young, hungry players, all looking to make their mark and move up the football pyramid.

MORE: Jon Walters returns to Ipswich Town on loan from Burnley

But in Jonathan Walters, they have a man who has close to 400 appearances in the top two divisions of English football, with 136 of those coming in Ipswich blue during an impressive three-and-a-half year spell.

He returns with 53 Republic of Ireland caps to his name, 14 international goals and a reputation as a reliable, hard-working, Premier League forward during his many years with Stoke.

He returns as hungry as ever but, on paper, about as far away from Hurst’s ‘type’ as you can get.

But rewind more than a decade, to January 2007, and you will find a player who fits Hurst’s bill in every way.

MORE: Nsiala banned for three games after red card appeal is rejected

Walters was a Chester City player back then, having bounced around the lower leagues after blowing chances with both Bolton and Blackburn. He has been the first to admit his attitude and approach to football was not right in those days and he faced the consequences.

He was rebuilding his career in the bottom two divisions of English football, firstly at Hull and then at Wrexham, but it was at League Two Chester he really began to hit the upward curve.

Walters had a loan spell at Barnsley in 2003/04. Picture: PAWalters had a loan spell at Barnsley in 2003/04. Picture: PA

An FA Cup third round tie and subsequent replay with Ipswich that January gave him the platform he needed. With 10 goals to his name already that season, he impressed Jim Magilton enough that a £150,000 deal was done. The rest is history.

Walters is the embodiment of the career path Hurst has set out for his new Ipswich signings, with his experience surely now vital to a squad lacking in that particular attribute.

MORE: Ipswich Town interested in Gareth McAuley as they close in on loan signing of Jon Walters

He returns a different player to the one which departed as the relationship with then manager Roy Keane crumbled in 2010, of course, but his quality and pedigree is undoubted.

Jon Walters during his time at Hull. Picture: PAJon Walters during his time at Hull. Picture: PA

Walters wants to play football, a recent tweet in which he stated he misses the game after his injury-hit season at Burnley made that very clear. But it’s possible as big an impact on Ipswich’s future may just be inspiring others to follow his lead.

He puts it best himself: “He (Paul Hurst) knows I’m not coming here to take it easy or anything,” Walters said. “He knows I’m coming here to set the standards for everyone else.

“If I can do it as a 34-year-old – and trust me, I will be in training and in games – then it’s a good motivation for the other boys to be following that.

MORE: ‘Road trip... take me home country roads’ - Walters drops big Ipswich hint

“I’ve had the highs and the lows all the way through the career, so coming here was a turning point for me.

“It gave me a great opportunity from Chester and I can see a lot of lads in the same mould here.

“There’s no reason they can’t all go down the same route and excel because they’ve got everything here – it’s an unbelievably supportive club.

“Hopefully they can do it.”

Cole Skuse agrees that his team mate and good friend Luke Chambers has probably taken on too much responsibility as Ipswich Town captain.

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has ruled out Paul Hurst returning to the club following his recent sacking by Ipswich Town.

More than 500 tickets have been donated for Ipswich Town’s home game against West Brom next Friday evening after one small act of kindness gained online momentum.

Toto Nsiala may currently find himself on the fringes of the Ipswich Town first-team but the central defender continues to make an impact off the field each and every week.

We’ve ranked the home kits of all 24 Championship teams. So who comes out on top?

Andre Dozzell has revealed his frustration as his return to action stalled earlier in the season but the teenager is now hungry for minutes on the field after returning to the first-team picture.

In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.

ANDY WARREN spoke to Ipswich Town No.2 Stuart Taylor about his journey from cleaning Paul Lambert’s boots at St Mirren to assisting him at Portman Road.

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

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