Bullard and Bowyer were great for me, says departing Ipswich Town defender

Joe Whight

Joe Whight - Credit: Archant

JOE WHIGHT has paid tribute to former Ipswich Town boss Paul Jewell and veterans such as Jimmy Bullard and Lee Bowyer for helping to develop his game.

The 19-year-old will officially become a free agent on July 1 when his contract with the Blues runs out and the defender is already on the search for a new club, ideally in the Football League.

Former Copleston High School pupil Whight failed to make his first-team bow at Portman Road and spent time on-loan at Blue Square Bet South side Chelmsford City this season.

While disappointed with how things ultimately turned out under Mick McCarthy, Whight believes the eight years he served with the Blues has been well spent.

“Signing my two-year contract was the best thing that happened to me, it’s just unfortunate it did not work out,” said Whight.

I would like to thank Paul Jewell. He gave me my contract and got me involved in the first team and I learnt so much.

“It was a shame for him that it didn’t work out and I think a lot of people at the club felt the same way.

Most Read

“It was great working with the likes of Mark Kennedy, who is now the under-21s’ coach, as he had played in my position, while Paul (Jewell) brought in the likes of Kieran Dyer, Jimmy Bullard and Lee Bowyer and they were all brilliant with the young lads.”

With time on his side, Whight is confident he can make a swift return to the Football League but, while he would relish proving McCarthy wrong, has no hard feelings at the manner of his exit from Portman Road.

“My main aim is to stay in the Football League, but I would look at Chelmsford again,” said Whight.

“There has been some interest in me in the past but nothing has worked out and the clubs that were interested were in a similar position to Ipswich, and could not really afford to bring in players without experience.

“I completely understand the position that Mick McCarthy was in, he couldn’t really come in with the club at the bottom of the league and put younger players in.”

He added: “I have been at Ipswich for seven years and it is a fantastic club with lots of great people there.

“But it’s now up to me to keep fit over the summer and see whether there is any interest.”