De Vos chooses Blues
NEW signing Jason de Vos last night revealed how most of the Wigan squad would love to play at Portman Road every week.Although De Vos captained Wigan to the Division Two title last season their average home crowd is still less than 8,000.
NEW signing Jason de Vos last night revealed how most of the Wigan squad would love to play at Portman Road every week, writes Derek Davis.
Although De Vos captained Wigan to the Division Two title last season their average home crowd is still less than 8,000. They share the JJB Stadium with Rugby League side Wigan Warriors and the pitch, while fine for the oval ball, is not conducive to the good football Paul Jewell espouses.
De Vos told the EADT how the Ipswich pitch, stadium and supporters left a huge impression on the Latics' stars, and when the Blues came calling it did not take long for the centre-half to accept a three-year contract.
The 30-year-old defender said: “When we played here we looked at how good the pitch was, the facilities and the 25,000 passionate supporters on the night and most of the team said how much we would like this on a regular basis.
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“I had no idea then that Ipswich would be interested in me but when I found out they were I was keen to learn more.
“Once I had been round the training facilities and the manager drove me around the area and talked about the club's ambitions I was convinced it would be the right move.”
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Town got their man when Canadian de Vos agreed a three-year deal last night.
He spent Tuesday discussing terms and having a medical at Portman Road and was due to hold a second lot of talks with Cardiff City yesterday.
Instead he drove back to Wigan where he signed release papers before heading off to join up with Frank Yallop's Canada squad in North Wales, while his agent broke the news to the Bluebirds that he had chosen Town.
Wigan had tried to keep him while Stoke City also tried to tempt the 30-year-old. De Vos said: “Other clubs offered more lucrative deals but the three-year contract was a factor. My little girl will soon be two years old and it is important for her to be settled and so many people have told me what a lovely part of the country it is to live in.
“Frank Yallop could not speak highly enough about Ipswich and the area and he urged me to sign. I have not spoken to Alan Mahon since I knew I was coming down but he told me before what a great club it was and how wonderful the area and the people were.”
Town fans may remember De Vos' contribution in the 3-1 win at Portman Road in February when a bullet header from defence helped set up one of the Latics' goals. The former Darlington and Dundee defender promised Blues followers they would see a lot more of that.
He said: “That is a big part of my game, the big, strong physical aspect with aerial ability at both ends of the pitch. I'm very ambitious and like every player want to be playing in the Premiership. With Ipswich I feel we can do that.”
De Vos also moved to allay fears that he would miss a large number of games through international commitments.
He said: “The First Division is a very competitive league with a lot of international players. Many of the games scheduled are during international breaks anyway and I'm hoping that games will be called off for internationals.
“At every club I have been at I have worked hard to honour my club commitments even if that has meant pencilling myself out of squads for friendlies and some tournaments.”
De Vos is expected to win his 44th international cap on Sunday against Wales in Wrexham before the squad flies back to Canada on Monday. They play Belize home and away in their qualifying group and he will return to England on June 17, with Town meeting for pre-season training on June 28.
The Blues fans' first chance to see him in action at Portman Road should be on July 28 when they entertain Newcastle United in Dale Roberts' testimonial match.
Three days later Town are hoping to play a top European side at home - they are due to play Lazio at some point as part of the deal which took Matteo Sereni to the Rome club.