Aaron Mclean set to win his long-standing bet

Aaron McLean at Cardiff last weekend

Aaron McLean at Cardiff last weekend

AARON Mclean will finally realise a decade-long ambition if he makes his home debut for Ipswich Town today.

Having been released by Chelsea as a youngster, the London-born striker ended up at Essex non-league side Grays and used to gaze with wonder at Portman Road when visiting his Claydon-based partner of the time.

This afternoon he will finally play there as a home player, as Town – who have won their battle to get the game on following a week of snow – take on struggling Barnsley.

“I can’t wait!” said the 29-year-old, who has joined the Blues on loan until the end of the season from Hull City.

“I’ve been in and around Ipswich for a long time now because my ex-partner is from here and we always had this bet that I was going to play for Ipswich one day.

“It was during my time at Grays that I remember we were driving past the stadium and I said ‘I want to play here one day’ and she said ‘you’re not good enough!’ I told her that one day I would prove her wrong.

“As time moved on my career progressed and I went to Peterborough [winning back-to-back promotions into the Championship] and that still wasn’t good enough for her!

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“Now I’ve signed for Ipswich, though, and I think that clarifies that I’m good enough!”

Mclean – who said he would definitely like to sign for the Blues permanently in the summer – joked: “I’ve been determined to win this bet for a long time. I just want her to be humble and say ‘you won’.”

He added: “I guess I’ve had to go through my whole career proving points to people and I’m still as determined as ever.

“It’s been a little frustrating for me not to be starting games at Hull, but you get set-backs in all walks of life – not just football.

“I could have just sat on the bench at Hull being content with the fact they are second in the league, but I’ve never been raised like that. I’m here to work hard and try to prove to people that I’m a good player.”

– For live match updates, follow @Stuart_Watson and @ChrisBramms on Twitter.