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Argentine youngsters come to Town

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

ARGENTINA giants Boca Juniors will take on a young Ipswich side tomorrow as the Blues look to find the next Mauricio Taricco or Sixto Peralta from the South American market, writes Derek Davis.

ARGENTINA giants Boca Juniors will take on a young Ipswich side tomorrow as the Blues look to find the next Mauricio Taricco or Sixto Peralta from the South American market, writes Derek Davis.

The Juniors' Under-20 side meet the cream of Town's youngsters at Bent Lane as part of their preparations for a prestigious Viareggio tournament in Italy which features 40 teams from the world's elite, including Santos from Brazil and Sporting Lisbon.

The Boca side, which includes two internationals and three who have played for the senior Juniors side also warm up next week with games against Paris St Germain and AC Milan.

Ipswich are the only side Boca Juniors will meet in England as Blues chairman David Sheepshanks looks to cement relationships with a country where he sees a rich vein of talent waiting to be tapped once Town's own short-term economic problems are resolved.

Luis Criscuolo, the Argentine lawyer which helped organise the visit, is studying law in England and playing rugby union for Coventry first XV. The Boca Juniors' party are guests of the club for today's Division One game against Sheffield United.

Sheepshanks said: "We are very keen to cement close ties with contacts in Argentina and there are no better ways of doing that than to invite them here to play in Ipswich.

"Of course we could see if there are any players that would be of interest to us, whether they are within our budget is another matter.

"It is still an important way of establishing a rapport and relationship that we can build on.

"It is difficult to continue to scout in Argentina but we sent Simon Hunt out there for three weeks this time last year and his report from there was glowing.

"No doubt at such a time as we can afford it, Argentina is a key area we should invest more in our scouting. The economy is even more depressed than it is here and there is a large pool of very talented players who have legitimate dual nationality and European passports.

"There are a number of Mauricio Taricco and Sixto Peralta out there. This match in isolation may not give us anything but it will enable us eventually to attract players like those two in the future."

Given Ipswich Town's intense scrutiny of expenditure, getting the trip sponsored by the club was vital and old friends to the club and current Academy benefactors Pritt have weighed in with a generous donation.

Mike Rayner, sales and marketing director, said: "There were two reasons. The Academy have given us a great way of getting to our target core market which is teenagers. For the past 30 years we have sold Pritt into schools as a clean, safe adhesive to use and they then go on to work in offices and other places and continue to use Pritt as our market share of 85% shows. And on a personal level, I'm an Ipswich Town fans of 40 years."

Sheepshanks added: "We are immensely grateful to Pritt because with our finances stretched the way they are we would not easily have been able to do this."

The game at Playford Road training ground kicks off at 2pm and drivers are advised to use the Bent Lane entrance for parking.


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