Fab's five-year plan

FABIAN Wilnis is not ready to hang up his boots just yet.The Dutch defender is delighted to have been awarded a testimonial match by Ipswich, even though he won't be offered a new playing contract at Portman Road.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

FABIAN Wilnis is not ready to hang up his boots just yet.

The Dutch defender is delighted to have been awarded a testimonial match by Ipswich, even though he won't be offered a new playing contract at Portman Road.


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But he is not planning on quitting life as a defender and is on the look out for a new club.

Wilnis is this week at Keele University doing a coaching course as part of his five-year plan to take over as manager of the Blues.

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He last night told the EADT: “I still feel as fit as ever. I have always prided myself on looking after my body and have no doubts I could carry on playing at a decent level.

“I think I showed last season that I could hold my own and carrying on playing is certainly an option.”

Another option for Wilnis, who did a U-turn by taking the first step into management after previously saying he was more interested in the marketing side of the game, is to become a player-coach somewhere.

That somewhere could even be at Portman road if it were possible.

Wilnis said: “It could be that I would be able to play and manage Ipswich's reserve team.

“Being a player coach is something I would like to do because it would mean me being able to carry on playing.”

Although Wilnis has cheekily told Jim Magilton he will be after his job one day, he doesn't feel ready to jump straight from being a player in to the hot seat as the Irishman did.

He said: “I'm taking my badges now and ideally I would like to be a number two learning the ropes for a couple of years and then become a manger in my own right. Managing Ipswich Town is my target and that is what I'm working towards.”

Also on the course is former Town team-mate John McGreal and ex Manchester City striker Paolo Wanchope.

Wilnis said: “It is hard work with a lot of things to absorb. We spend about three hours a day on the pitch so being fit has helped me a lot.”

Signed by George Burley from de Graafschap in January 1999 for a bargain £200,000, 37-year-old Wilnis has made 325 appearances for the Blues, scoring six goals, and will be honoured with a testimonial match that has yet to be organised.

“It is brilliant that the club have agreed to let me have a testimonial match.

“We have not arranged a date or opposition as yet but it is exciting news for me.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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