Award-winning groundsman leaving Town

ALAN Ferguson is leaving Ipswich Town to take up a position as head groundsman at the National Football Centre, Burton.

The Scotsman – seven times Groundsman of the Year during in his 12 years at the club – will take up his new role in August and is currently working alongside Town chief executive Simon Clegg to find his replacement at Portman Road.

“It’s an enormous challenge for me but one I am looking forward to taking on,” said Ferguson, who will be linking back up with former Blues chairman David Sheepshanks having previously turned down the job of looking after the Wembley surface.

“One of the initial tasks we have is replicating the pitch the England side uses at Wembley so that the players can train on a similar surface.

“In many ways it’s a similar situation to when I started at Ipswich, with the Playford Road training ground project, but obviously there will be some fantastic resources at Burton.”

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He added: “I’m sad to be leaving Ipswich. You always feel like that when you enjoy where you work.

“My family have grown up in the area and with me at the club so Ipswich has been a big part of not only my life but my family’s as well.

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“We’re massive Town fans and we will be staying in the area. Whenever I’m not working, I’ll be watching the team play.”

Town chief executive Simon Clegg added: “I’m disappointed to see Alan leave the club but fully understand that he is taking up perhaps the biggest groundsman’s job in the country.

“I’d like to thank him for his fantastic and loyal service to this football club, creating terrific playing surfaces at not only Portman Road but also at the training ground.

“He has made a valued contribution over the last 12 years and I wish him every success for the future.”

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