'Gentle giant' set to sign for Town

LIFE could soon be very different for 'gentle giant' Jerome Sobers when he joins Ipswich Town from non-league Ford United.If a deal can be tied up between the two clubs, the 17-year-old unemployed painter and decorator will go from playing for the Ryman League side on a Saturday, their reserves in midweek and the youth team on Sunday - with the odd decorating job in between - to the life of a full-time footballer.

LIFE could soon be very different for 'gentle giant' Jerome Sobers when he joins Ipswich Town from non-league Ford United, writes Derek Davis.

If a deal can be tied up between the two clubs, the 17-year-old unemployed painter and decorator will go from playing for the Ryman League side on a Saturday, their reserves in midweek and the youth team on Sunday - with the odd decorating job in between - to the life of a full-time footballer.

The 6'3'' central defender was spotted by Academy coach Ian Smith who, acting on a tip-off, watched Sobers and was impressed enough to offer him a trial.

The youngster arrived on trial with Ipswich along with Motormen team-mate Ben Patten and both have been brought through the youth team at Ford United.


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Sobers played well for the Academy side against Southampton and looked more than comfortable in the reserves' 2-0 win over Arsenal at Barnet's Underhill Ground, watched by Joe Royle, Willie Donachie, Tony Mowbray, Bryan Klug and Malcolm Moore.

Royle said: “We are very pleased with Jerome. He did well at Arsenal on Monday and has impressed the coaches in training.

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“We are hoping to arrange something in the next 24 hours with Ford United and come to some sort of deal.”

Ford United spokesman Mick Ewen last night told the EADT: “We are still waiting for the final details but I'm delighted for Jerome. He is an absolute gentle giant, a lovely lad off the pitch.

“I'm not surprised Ipswich have taken a chance with him. He is a strong defender who is comfortable on the ball. He is someone I have always rated and I'm sure will go a long way.”

But while his potential is immense, Town have been warned about Jerome's less than sober dress sense.

During Ford United's FA Cup second round tie with Division Two side Port Vale the players all wore suits.

But manager Craig Edwards had to tell Sobers to remove his Biggles-style furry hat that somewhat ruined the image.

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