Injury forces Sereni to miss course

MATTEO Sereni has pulled out of a goalkeeping coaching course next week after developing a knee strain, writes Derek Davis.All five other Ipswich Town keepers will attend the week-long session at Staffordshire College, run by Blues coach Malcolm Webster along with Fred Barber.

MATTEO Sereni has pulled out of a goalkeeping coaching course next week after developing a knee strain, writes Derek Davis.

All five other Ipswich Town keepers will attend the week-long session at Staffordshire College, run by Blues coach Malcolm Webster along with Fred Barber.

More than 50 professional keepers will be on the course, established 10 years ago by the duo and recognised as the best in its field.

Sereni rejoined his Town team-mates on Wednesday after his loan session with Brescia ended and he made it clear through the EADT last week that he was not happy about being back and preferred a move to Serie A.

While Brescia, Lazio and Sampdoria all showed a willingness to sign him, none wanted to pay a fee for the Italian, for whom Town paid a club transfer record £4.8m. Sereni will work on his fitness in Ipswich after returning from his holiday in Sardinia which started almost a month later than the Town players as the Italian league finished in late May.

Town keepers Andy Marshall, James Pullen, Lewis Price, Scott Peat and Shane Suple will all be on the course which starts on Monday, along with Colchester United duo Simon Brown and Richard McKinlay. Jussi Jaaskelainen, Russell Hoult, Kevin Miller and the currently unattached England under-21 keeper Rhys Evans will also be in Staffordshire.

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Town coach Webster said last night: “It is an intensive course with three sessions a day with 52 professionals and 26 aspiring keepers who are invited to give them an insight.

“Unfortunately Matteo will not be with us as he has a slight strain behind a knee. He has had less holidays than the rest of the lads anyway so there is no point pushing him too hard this early.

“He has done everything we have asked of him in the three days he has been back and been extremely professional.

“We know he is a fabulous keeper and if you remember the magnificent six months he had when he first arrived here you know he can keep goal. At the moment he is an Ipswich Town keeper who has every chance of keeping goal for us at the beginning of the season and if he produces what we know he can produce, he will be a top keeper in this division.”

The former Fulham, Southend United and Cambridge United keeper, who was understudy to Bob Wilson at Arsenal, has had to use all his experience to handle his crop of Town keepers.

Marshall and Pullen are on free transfers, with Stoke City showing an interest in the former Heybridge Swifts stopper.

He said: “All six keepers have different aspirations and aims, but all know they have to work hard if they want to achieve their targets. They have already shown great professionalism and are a joy to work with.”

Webster has recently completed the FA goalkeeping diploma, the highest coaching award achievable for goalkeepers. Only 11 people hold the award.

The course at Lilleshall also boasted David Seaman, Pat Jennings, Peter Bonetti, Hans Segars and Chris Woods among its numbers.

Webster said: “It was inspirational to work with all these great keepers and has set me up for the season. I will incorporate some new ideas I have in the course this week and in the training sessions at Ipswich.”

Sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, Webster's course works the keepers three times a day, finishing at 9.30pm and will see them catch 600 footballs a day, enough to put a strain on any weak knees.

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