Digger Drury

FROM digger driver to Championship footballer, all in the space of two-and-a-half years!

FROM digger driver to Championship footballer, all in the space of two-and-a-half years!

Ipswich Town’s newest recruit, Andy Drury, is hoping to make his Football League debut against Sheffield United tomorrow, at the ripe old age of 27.

Midfielder Drury, who became new manager Paul Jewell’s first permanent signing on transfer deadline day on Monday, could not feature in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at Derby County due to a delay in the completion of the paper-work at his old club Luton.

But he is hoping to be in the squad for the visit of the struggling Blades, which would end his long journey from building site to Championship football.

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“I did building work from about the age of 19 to 24. I used to do all the digger driving, and stuff like that,” revealed Drury yesterday.

“I used to get up at 6am, get back home at 5pm, and then go out to training some days.

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“I’ve been a full-time footballer for the last two-and-a-half-years, but the building has made me appreciate this lifestyle. It’s a little bit easier than getting up at 6am! I appreciate being paid to play football,” added Drury.

Chatham-born Drury played for Kent clubs Sittingbourne and Gravesend & Northfleet (now Ebbsfleet United) earlier in his career. After a spell at Lewes, he turned professional to play for Stevenage and then at Luton.

“I always wanted to be a professional footballer as a kid, but where I lived, there was only Gillingham and no one else,” continued Drury.

“I had a few trials and reserve games at Championships clubs when I was 18 or 19, at Derby and Gillingham. They were both up near the top at the time. I clearly wasn’t ready for it at that age.

“Last summer I was beginning to think that it might not happen for me, but I had a good six or seven months at Luton.

“There were a couple of other Championship clubs interested, but I told Luton that I wanted to go to Ipswich, so they had no choice because of the (�150,000) release clause in my contract.

“I haven’t come here to just sit about in the Reserves. But most people haven’t seen me play, so it’s going to be a big challenge.”

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