Early-bird Westlake excited by changes

MIDFIELD dynamo Ian Westlake's thirst to start working with Ipswich Town's new manager Jim Magilton saw him arrive at the training ground a week early.

By Elvin King

MIDFIELD dynamo Ian Westlake's thirst to start working with Ipswich Town's new manager Jim Magilton saw him arrive at the training ground a week early.

And the 22-year-old is not the only first-team squad member who has given up part of their summer break.

Pre-season training officially starts next Monday, June 26 but there was a steady stream of players getting down to work on Monday. “Since I heard news about Jim taking over I have been looking forward to coming in,” said Westlake. “Jim loves football and he loves a passing game, and there should be exciting times ahead.”


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Other players who joined Westlake going through their paces included Jason De Vos, Fabian Wilnis, Scott Barron, and Danny Haynes, with Matt Richards and Gavin Williams also involved while recovering from injuries.

Westlake has every faith in the new managerial team proving a success at Portman Road, but he expects it to be hard work.

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“Knowing Jim as I do, I am sure we will train hard and everybody will be expected to give 100% all the while,” said Westlake, who feels both Magilton and first-team coach Bryan Klug have so much to offer.

“As skipper, Jim was able to knit players together and have us all pulling the same way. He will do the same as manager.

“Bryan is a brilliant coach and so many players who have come through the Academy owe him a great deal.

“The club will now benefit from Bryan taking care of the more established players and I am sure he will still keep an eye on the youngsters.

“Like the rest of the squad, I had no idea about Joe Royle leaving and when the news broke it was a shock.

“But it was good news that Jim and Bryan have been appointed.”

Meanwhile award-winning Ipswich Town head groundsman Alan Ferguson has vowed to provide Magilton with a perfect pitch.

Ferguson was voted Championship groundsman of the year for the third season running but admits that his playing surface fell below standards for three months in 2005/06.

“We can't afford to let that happen again,” said Ferguson. “Results dipped when the pitch deteriorated in December, January and February and our home advantage disappeared.”

Ferguson cannot start serious work at Portman Road until after the sell-out Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert at the stadium on June 30. Then he will re-lay new turf that is currently growing in a field near Sudbourne.

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