FIFA blow for Town triallist

FIFA have told Miguel Angel Martinez that he can't play in Ipswich Town's reserve match at Watford tomorrow night.The Paraguayan defender was pencilled into Steve McCall's squad for the trip to Vicarage Road so coaching staff could get a good look at him in competitive action.

By Derek Davis

FIFA have told Miguel Angel Martinez that he can't play in Ipswich Town's reserve match at Watford tomorrow night.

The Paraguayan defender was pencilled into Steve McCall's squad for the trip to Vicarage Road so coaching staff could get a good look at him in competitive action.

But the world governing body has refused to allow him to play, as their rule state that foreign unsigned players can not play in trial matches - even if he is a free agent.


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Blues boss Joe Royle will now try and assess Martinez, and Monaco striker Jimmy Juan, during training this week after they arrived last Thursday

He said: “It is better to see these players in action rather than just in training. The FIFA rules say they have to be signed, but we don't like signing players until we have seen them play, so really it is a restriction of trade.

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“It is hard to tell what they are like but we will learn more this week when we have a full week with them.”

While the phones have been remarkably quiet, Royle is pleased that no bids have been made for any of his players, but he is still working on strengthening his own squad for the remaining 18 games.

He said: “I'm pleased with what we have got, and we want everyone that is here to stay, but I'm looking still to bring one new player in.”

Getting Drissa Diallo back from a hamstring injury will be a big boost, but he is still a fortnight away from playing in a competitive match.

With the young Ipswich Town players in action at Stoke City in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday as well, the Blues will be fielding a relatively senior side against Watford, although not necessarily a very old one.

Pablo Counago, Dean Bowditch, Scott Mitchell and Lewis Price are all likely to be involved.

n Billy Clarke, who made his first-team debut at Sunderland in November, has been called into the England Under-17s squad that will compete in the Algarve Tournament at the end of February.

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