De Vos can't wait to get started

CANADIAN international Jason de Vos is itching to get the new season underway, writes Derek Davis.Ipswich Town's newest signing admits he will be looking out for the Wigan fixture when the newly-named Coca-Cola Championship schedule is unveiled at 10am today and is eager to meet his new team-mates on Monday.

CANADIAN international Jason de Vos is itching to get the new season underway, writes Derek Davis.

Ipswich Town's newest signing admits he will be looking out for the Wigan fixture when the newly-named Coca-Cola Championship schedule is unveiled at 10am today and is eager to meet his new team-mates on Monday.

The towering central defender said: "I'm really excited about the coming season and like all fans can't wait to see who we open with on the first day and who we have got on the last day. I will be looking out especially for the Wigan fixture as it is always nice to play your old team."

De Vos, a free signing from the Latics, will be excused the long runs and heavy fitness work in the first week of pre-season training after spending most of this month away on international duty, where he led Canada to two 4-0 wins over Belize in the opening stage of the World Cup qualifying rounds.


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But that has not stopped him arriving in East Anglia with his wife and three-year-old daughter to do some house-hunting and he will report at Portman Road on Monday along with everyone else.

He said: "The coaches are a bit concerned that I will become over-tired too early as I have not had much of a summer break from playing. They are devising a special programme for me but I still can't wait to meet the rest of the guys."

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The 8-0 aggregate win over Belize moves Canada forward to the second stage and they will now meet Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica in their group games, starting with Guatemala on August 18 – during a designated international week – and De Vos hopes Town's game that weekend will be called off.

He said: "I don't want to miss any games if I can help it and all our qualifying games are at the same time as the European groups. It will be difficulty for us to go through but we are capable of doing it. It is a tough task because the teams in our group may not be big footballing countries but they are very hostile places to play football and the referees give you nothing."

De Vos will become acquainted with his new team-mates during pre-season which includes a game at Peterborough before a trip to Denmark where they will play Randers and Aab Aalborg. The Blues then entertain Premiership clubs Crystal Palace and Newcastle United and hope to play top European oppostion the week before the league campaign starts on Saturday, August 7.

Joe Royle's side, already minus John McGreal, who has joined Burnley and Marcus Bent, who moved to Everton in a £450,000 deal, will be looking to get off to a better start than they did last season when they failed to win their first six league games. They started the season with a 1-1 home draw with Reading and ended it by reaching the play-offs before going out on an epic night at Upton Park.

West Ham on the first day would be an interesting opener.

Town still get to play two derby matches against Norwich City this season, albeit, in the Premier Reserve League (south). City were promoted in place of Wimbledon, who resurface in the Combination League as Milton Keynes Dons and will visit Colchester United.

The draw for the first round of the Carling Cup takes place on July 8 and not today as usual.

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