Fab's Dutch disaster

IPSWICH Town's pre-season plans have been thrown into confusion with confirmation today that top Dutch club Feyenoord will not be supporting Fabian Wilnis' testimonial day on Saturday, July 25.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's pre-season plans have been thrown into confusion with confirmation today that top Dutch club Feyenoord will not be supporting Fabian Wilnis' testimonial day on Saturday, July 25.

Saturday's 0-0 home draw against Watford effectively put paid to lingering hopes that the Blues might feature in this season's Coca-Cola Championship play-offs.

So attention for Town manager Jim Magilton and his squad turns to next campaign, and a hope to build on this term and make a much bigger impression on the promotion scene.

This is Wilnis' testimonial year after playing for Ipswich for 10 years before being released last summer.

Feyenoord were the team the Dutch defender supported as a youngster and the club he dearly wanted to have at Portman Road on his big day.

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But, after several weeks of uncertainty, they have now confirmed that they will not be able to make it.

And with the Dutch FA planning to start their domestic season early on August 1 in readiness for the World Cup finals in South Africa in the summer of 2010, Wilnis will be unable to book any other club from the Netherlands.

Wilnis is now hoping to attract a top Premier League club but, with most pre-season planning already done, this may not be easy.

Tottenham have been mentioned, and Magilton will be hoping Wilnis fixes up good opposition to not only make it a good 'pay day' for his former team-mate but also to give his team a quality work-out just prior to the start of the 2009/10 campaign.

“It's a real pity,” said Wilnis, who is to hang up his boots in May after his time with Blue Square Premier League Grays comes to an end.

“Feyenoord were the team I supported as a boy so I've got a strong sentimental connection with them.

“It would also have been great to have a top Dutch side over.

“But I'm still positive and myself and my testimonial committee are very close to getting a top Premier League side instead.

“If it comes off, it'll be very exciting and should, hopefully, appeal to a lot of people.”

After the main game, fans will be treated to an extra 45 minutes of action featuring many of Wilnis' former Ipswich team-mates.