Ipswich Town trialist Tom Wraight determined to help keep Witham Town up

Witham Town's Tom Wraight (white) battles with Needham's Luke Ingram earlier this season

Witham Town's Tom Wraight (white) battles with Needham's Luke Ingram earlier this season - Credit: Archant

Tom Wraight is determined to help keep Witham Town in the Ryman Premier Division.

The 20-year-old left-winger, who spent two weeks on trial at Ipswich Town last month, visits East Thurrock United today eager to earn three points in Witham’s quest to avoid relegation.

The Essex side, who have recorded a win and a draw in their last two league games, sit one place above the drop zone before kick-off, but only on goal difference.

“The lads have really enjoyed it this year,” said Wraight, who is in his second season at Witham.

“We’re a tight group, and we’ve found it tough because we’ve had to play better teams.

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“But we know we’re good enough to survive and with six games left, are trying to get safe.

“It’s very important for the club to stay in the division. Our pitch isn’t the best (Witham have had a lot of home games postponed due to the poor weather this season), but there are plans to get the pitch relayed.”

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Wraight will line up for Garry Kimble’s battling side this afternoon, but could have been lining up for Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich had he done enough to earn a contract at Portman Road during a trial last month.

“It was all a bit of a shock really,” continued Wraight, who had to take two weeks off work to undergo the trial.

“My manager (Garry Kimble) phoned me up and said Ipswich were interested in having a look at me, I didn’t know what to say.

“It was a great experience, everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and I really enjoyed it, it was brilliant.”

Unfortunately for Wraight, he didn’t do enough to seal a permanent switch to Portman Road, but has been left in fine spirits following the experience.

“I injured my back in the first 15 minutes in an under-21 match against Millwall, and that killed me a little bit,” he explained.

“I was lucky enough to play another game on a Sunday and did OK but got told I wasn’t going to be taken on.

“The thing was with my age – I’m 21 in June – there are no reserve teams, it’s either under-21 football or first-team football.

“I’d obviously be too old to play for the 21s (next season) and not at that level for first-time football which is perfectly understandable.

“I loved it though, and everyone at the club gave me some great advice going forward.”

Following the trial, Wraight returned to Witham, scoring in the 2-1 win over AFC Hornchurch on March 7.

“I got a bit of banter when I came back, but it was all a bit of a laugh – they weren’t that horrible to me,” he added.

What is around the corner therefore for the talented winger?

“I’ve got six games to try and help Witham stay up,” he continued.

“In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m doing beyond that but I want Witham to stay up because I think we’re good enough too.”

Following on from today’s game, Witham host Dulwich Hamlet next week, before visiting Canvey Island on Easter Monday.

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