David Wright confirms he’s leaving Town

DAVID Wright has confirmed that he is leaving Ipswich Town when his contract expires this summer.

The defender, who has made 128 Blues appearances and scored five goals in three-and-a-half years at the club, celebrates his 30th birthday on Saturday with Town to publicly confirm his departure tomorrow.

Wright is expected to be joined by goalkeeper Richard Wright in not being offered a new deal for next season.

The two Wrights are the most high profile of players whose contracts are coming to an end, although Ipswich manager Roy Keane is also reported to have told Jon Stead and loanee Liam Rosenior that they will not be in his plans for next season.

Coventry, where Stead is currently on loan, are expected to put in a bid for the striker, while Rosenior is in a season-long loan from Reading where his contract ends on June 30

Dutch defender Pim Balkestein, who is currently on loan at Brentford, is also set to be released by Town.

“I saw the manager on Tuesday and he said some nice things about me, but that he was looking in a new direction,” David Wright said.

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“I don’t agree with his decision, but I have to respect it.”

Wright scored the goal against Derby County that saw Ipswich win their first game of the season at Portman Road on October 31 after their worst start to any year.

The player, who helped Wigan gain promotion to the Premier League before being bought by previous Town manager Jim Magilton days before current skipper Jon Walters was banished to train with the youth team for much of September.

He fought his way back into the first team, and when he has started games Ipswich’s ability to pick up points has increased.

In Wright’s 25 starts this term, Town have accrued 37 of their 56 points.

Town have made no comment on reports that Keane has decided that he doesn’t want the two Wrights, Stead, Rosenior and Balkestein in his squad in 2010/11. This is expected to come tomorrow.

A number of other players, including Liam Trotter and youngsters Shane O’Connor, Reggie Lambe, Troy Brown, Ed Upson and Jack Ainsley are also out of contract in the summer and are set for talks with Keane.

Balkestein will be allowed to depart on a free transfer with Brentford understood to be interested in signing the former Heerenveen man on a permanent basis. The player is also considering a move back to Holland.

It is also believed that coach Steve Foley, who served as technical skills coach under Jim Magilton, is not having his contract renewed and will be leaving the club.

n Town fans can now vote online via the supporters club website www.itfcsupporters.co.uk for their Town Player of the Year.

Voting also takes place ahead of Sunday’s home game against Sheffield United.

The winner will be announced at the player awards evening at the Gresham’s Sports and Social Club, in Tuddenham Road, Ipswich, on Sunday evening.

elvin.king@eadt.co.uk

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