Derby with a difference

IT MAY be a typical summer weekend for most people but for Ipswich and Norwich fans it's derby day tomorrow yet again.This time however, it's not Darren Bent v Robert Green, but Simon Milton v Robert Fleck.

IT MAY be a typical summer weekend for most people but for Ipswich and Norwich fans it's derby day tomorrow yet again

This time however, it's not Darren Bent v Robert Green, but Simon Milton v Robert Fleck.

In the Coventry Skydome tomorrow the Blues and the Canaries square up in the Midlands Masters, live on Sky.

Town's over-35s reached the finals last season after winning a London heat where Milton was named Player of the Tournament and Jason Dozzell was top scorer.


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Milton says he is hoping for more of the same. "Jason scored a lot of goals last year and we won that and got to the final. It was great fun and I hope we do as well this time," he said.

This year's tournament sees the Masters debut of Micky Stockwell while the rest of the squad is much the same as played last summer.

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Town will face Leicester and Coventry but the first appearance in Masters Football of Norwich City is probably the most eagerly awaited of the games.

Milton says that the Town side have learnt that the Norwich squad have been employing some underhand tactics: "I spoke to Putters (Trevor Putney) who has been speaking to Bryan Gunn and apparently Norwich have been training! That's illegal, nobody does that!

"I'm considering bringing it to the attention of the authorities on Sunday. Training!? I ask you, they're obviously taking it a bit seriously.

"The game itself will have all the blood and thunder of a regular derby but we'll all meet up afterwards in the bar back at the hotel."

They may be entering the arena wearing Gunny wigs – but Norwich City's team of ex-pros will be deadly serious once tomorrow's Midland Masters indoor tournament in Coventry gets under way. Ten former City favourites will be rolling back the years and Jeremy Goss says they will have their eyes firmly fixed on a place in the Grand Final in September.

"There's no way we will be treating it just as a fun day out," said the 38-year-old midfielder, who be joining the likes of Bryan Gunn, Robert Fleck and Dale Gordon in the Canaries team.

"There's a chance we will be sporting the wigs when we run out to help raise money for Gunny's Leukaemia Appeal. But once the referee blows his whistle we'll be going all out to win the tournament – and I think we can.

"There's a lot of quality in our squad and if we perform to our full potential I'm sure we'll give our supporters plenty to celebrate."

The tournament may be taking place in high summer but that hasn't stopped 300 City fans buying tickets for the event and Goss says that level of support has made the ex-Canaries doubly determined to succeed.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard we'd sold out our entire allocation," he said. "I thought we might be cheered on by a couple of mini-bus loads but to have 300 there will be an enormous boost for us."

The action gets under way at 3pm tomorrow with the round-robin event expected to finish around 6.30pm.

Town Masters: Jon Hallworth, Mickey Stockwell, Trevor Putney, Ian Atkins, Mark Brennan, Paul Mason, Bontcho Guentchev, Neil Woods, Simon Milton and Jason Dozzell.

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