Ipswich Town sign keeper Jonathan Henly and offer deal to striker James Alabi
PUBLISHED: 14:38 20 August 2015 | UPDATED: 18:12 20 August 2015
Ipswich Town have signed Scotland Under-21 international keeper Jonathan Henly on a one-year deal and offered striker James Alabi a contract.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy revealed the news at this lunchtime’s press conference, the duo having impressed on trial recently.
Woking-born keeper Henly, 21, was released by Reading this summer, while London-born Alabi, 20, was let go by Stoke.
Henly has been training with the club since August 3 and has yet to personally concede a single goal during the Blues’ Under-21 fixtures versus Norwich City and Coventry City. He had pre-season spells at Championship rivals QPR and Scottish Premiership side Ross County.
Called up to the recent Scotland Under-21 squad alongside Town winger Ryan Fraser, he said: “Shortly after I arrived at Ipswich, I knew that it was a good fit, which is important for my personal development.
“Mick (McCarthy) and his coaching staff are very much about giving young players like me the chance to shine, which is evident during training sessions, as there are no barriers between the Under-21s and the first team.
“Ipswich promotes a culture of inclusion rather than seclusion, which, in my opinion, is conducive to the development of any aspiring footballer.
“Added to that, the players’ facilities at Ipswich are excellent; probably even better that what I was used to at Reading, which is quite something in itself.
“Joining Ipswich is definitely the right move for me, and I look forward to working with Mick and his coaching staff over the course of this season to help take my game to the next level.”
McCarthy said: “Jon Henly has signed and James Alabi, I’ve made him an offer. If he wants to take it, great, if he doesn’t we’ll see him at the far post somewhere else!”
The Blues boss has said previously that he would like to add a versatile defender to his ranks before the transfer window closes on September 1, with teenage Hearts defender Jordan McGhee understood to be a target.
With negotiations over the latter having hit an impasse, McCarthy would only say: “If the right deal, at the right price for the right player comes up, we’ll do it. There’s a lot of things in that though.
“I’m (not rushing into it), the progress of some of the young’uns has helped but then I don’t expect that they’ll play 20 games a season.
“It’s nice when they can just dip their toe in and have a game but relying on them to be in a team when everybody’s asking me about being promoted and finishing in the top two, relying on all those to be part of that, I think that’s a bit pie in the sky, to be honest with you.”
On potential player exits, McCarthy said: “None of the ones who are playing are going out, I’m not concerned about that, but there are a couple I wouldn’t mind going out on loan or going out elsewhere, that’s always the case.”
The Blues boss has previously said that out-of-favour winger Cameron Stewart is ‘available’, while young keeper Michael Crowe looks set to go out on loan.