Crunch time for Ipswich triallist

ICELANDIC international Indridi Sigurdsson's stay on Ipswich Town's three-match tour to Holland and Belgium depends on how he performs against Willem II tonight.

By Elvin King

ICELANDIC international Indridi Sigurdsson's stay on Ipswich Town's three-match tour to Holland and Belgium depends on how he performs against Willem II tonight.

The 24-year-old, who speaks six languages, has set his heart on playing in the Football League - and turned down the offer of a new contract by Belgium club KRC Genk to try his luck with Ipswich.

But the left-back, who can also play in central defence or at left midfield, is understood to be very much on trial against Dutch side Willem II this evening.


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And it is also a big match for French midfielder Alex Bertin, who did enough in pre-season games at Boston and Galway to earn a place on this trip.

Both triallists will feature tonight with manager Jim Magilton also expected to give every one of the 20 players who flew from the City of London Airport to Antwerp yesterday teatime a game.

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Sigurdsson was a regular with Genk - just down the road from Antwerp - for two seasons and he comes to Ipswich highly recommended by former Blues favourite Hermann Hreidarsson.

“Genk wanted me to re-sign at the end of my contract, but I saw it as a chance to make my name in England,” said Sigurdsson.

“It is my chance, and I want to make the most of it.

“I have known Hermann for a few years and he has always spoken very highly of Ipswich.”

Capped 25 times at full international level, scoring one goal, Sigurdsson began his career with KR Reykjavik in his home country before moving to Norway with Lillestrom SK in 2000. After 57 league appearances he joined KRC in 2003.

Ipswich have Michael Synott waiting in the wings at Portman Road ready to fly over and replace any of the current squad for the two other games on the tour - on Wednesday and Friday.

Darren Currie last night pledged to concentrate on getting the most out of the next three games and he admitted that the speculation linking him with a move to Leeds is unsettling. The midfielder said: “I just want to concentrate on the task in hand. Ipswich have appointed a new manager who is as honest as the day is long.

“We will all know exactly where we will stand with him, and he will keep me informed of any interest from Leeds.”

Chairman David Sheepshanks accompanied the party on the trip, which did not get off on the right foot, with the club coach breaking down twice on the way to the airport.

The journey took four hours, and striker Nicky Forster - waiting to be picked up - had to drive to the airport to be there in time. Sheepshanks is only staying for the one game and is returning to Ipswich tomorrow.

Owen Garvan failed to make the trip because of shingles while Gavin Williams - a big player for Ipswich this year - has also stayed at home with hamstring problems. Striker Alan Lee will spend the week with the fitness coach at the Rushmere training ground, while Gerard Nash missed out because of a dead leg.

Young striker Darryl Knights has a chance to show his worth, while Fabian Wilnis will be playing in his home country tonight. Matt Richards has pronounced himself fit and ready to play.

Martijn Reuser, a big Town favourite during George Burley's time in charge at Portman Road, transferred from Willem II to RKC Waalwijk in the summer, but will be at tonight's match to say goodbye to supporters of the Dutch side. The Town party is staying at a rural hotel not far from Tilburg and manager Magilton and his coaching staff made a quick visit to the training ground they will use as soon as they arrived at the hotel.

Ipswich squad: Supple, Price, Bertin, Casement, Haynes, Currie, Knights, Bowditch, Wilnis, Westlake, Sigurdsson, Peters, De Vos, Sito, Richards, Forster, Naylor, Parkin, Brekke-Skard and Clarke.

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