Broto set for Town debut

JAVIER Sanchez Broto is due to get his first outing in an Ipswich Town shirt tonight at Southend United, writes Derek Davis.The Spaniard, who arrived last night, is due to meet Blues boss Joe Royle this morning, and could be thrown straight into action as Town start their pre-season campaign at Roots Hall, if his international clearance arrives in time.

JAVIER Sanchez Broto is due to get his first outing in an Ipswich Town shirt tonight at Southend United, writes Derek Davis.

The Spaniard, who arrived last night, is due to meet Blues boss Joe Royle this morning, and could be thrown straight into action as Town start their pre-season campaign at Roots Hall, if his international clearance arrives in time.

Royle said: "I will take a look at him and see how he is but hopefully he will be in goal for us in the first half at least."

The former Celtic, Hearts and Livingston keeper has not been able to join in any pre-season training anywhere else yet so may be a tad unfit.


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Italian keeper Matteo Sereni would have seen some action had he not lost his passport and failed to return to Portman Road yesterday as planned.

With the move to Lazio still in the balance, Sereni was meant to be back in Ipswich for training.

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Royle has given him the benefit of the doubt but has warned if Sereni does not return soon he faces a hefty fine.

Royle said: "We will take him at his word and will only look at disciplinary action a little later."

Sereni has balked at taking a 50% pay cut to join Lazio who need his decision within the next few days to register him with UEFA so he can play in the Champions' League, where he will also need to find his passport.

After almost two weeks' hard physical training, the Town players will be relishing getting some competitive action under their belts, although Royle will only give them 45 minutes each to ease their way back.

New signing Drissa Diallo will also be making his first appearance in a Town shirt, lining up at the back alongside teenager Aidan Collins with Fabian Wilnis and Chris Makin as full-backs.

Skipper Jim Magilton will cajole the side in a three-man midfield with Thomas Gaardsoe, who played internationally for Denmark in the middle, and promising teenager Ian Westlake.

The attack will see Martijn Reuser, Alun Armstrong and Marcus Bent looking to take advantage of a new-look Southend United under former Colchester United boss Steve Wignall.

The second-half XI will include 17-year-old Gerard Nash, Richard Naylor and Chris Hogg.

Tommy Miller, Nabil Abidallah and Antonio Murray will make up the midfield with Pablo Counago flanked by the pacy Darren Bent and Dean Bowditch up front, while Sam Morrow will be ready to join in at some point.

Missing will be the injured trio John McGreal, who is still recovering from a knee injury. Matt Richards, who has tweaked a hamstring, and Jermaine Wright, who hurt his groin in training on Monday.

The Shrimpers are likely to include a number of triallists including Millwall youngster Leke Oduni. United include Tesfaye Bramble, last year's top scorer at the club with 13 goals and brother of former Town defender Titus.

His Newcastle United team-mate Carl Cort also has a brother at Roots Hall with defender Leon Cort in the side.

Wignall is hoping to sign another midfielder today in time for the 7.30pm kick-off and is taking a look at former Manchester City, Port Vale and Leyton Orient striker Carl Griffiths.

The Shrimpers boss is also planning to use his squad extensively but also wants to see how the core of his team is shaping up.

He said: "The players are gelling better than I thought. It will be interesting when we go out against Ipswich. You have to remember they are a First Division side that played together last season so they are going to be fine. We can't judge ourselves too much on that, all we can do is judge ourselves on how we do and how we set about things and if they do the things that we have asked them to do."

The Town squad numbers are expected to be revealed today after an administration problem prevented them being announced yesterday as planned.

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