Farmers v Tractor Boys

IN the country! The Tractor Boys take on the Farmers in a distinctly agricultural feel to this evening’s attractive pre-season friendly in Holland (kick-off 7pm).

IN the country! The Tractor Boys take on the Farmers in a distinctly agricultural feel to this evening’s attractive pre-season friendly in Holland (kick-off 7pm).

Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town, after two outings against non-league Newmarket Town and Histon Town, face opposition of a very different sort in PSV Eindhoven.

Nicknamed “Boeren,” which translates as Farmers or Peasants, PSV should prove a stern test for the travelling Tractor Boys.

Keane has selected an 18-man squad, which includes the youthful trio of Troy Brown, Luke Hyam and Jack Ainsley.

Both Brown and Ainsley featured in the 22 players used during the 6-0 win at Histon the previous Friday evening, but not Hyam, which means that five of the remaining 20 at Histon are not on the Dutch trip.

One of those to definitely miss out is skipper Jon Walters, who has stayed at home due to a virus which has sidelined him from training for much of this week.

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It will be unusual to watch a Town team in action, without Walters on the pitch, because the 26-year-old has been a mainstay of Keane’s squad throughout the last year.

In fact, last season’s leading scorer started 43 of Town’s 46 games in the Championship last term, only missing the Boxing Day fixture at Crystal Palace due to suspension, and the late January games against West Brom and at Preston. Town collected just one point from a possible nine in those three games.

Midfielder Alan Quinn, one of eight players on the transfer list, is also omitted from the squad.

Instead, the Irishman is set to play for an Ipswich Town XI at Gt Yarmouth this afternoon (3pm). Two or three fellow senior players should also feature in this friendly on the Norfolk coast.

The main interest, though, will be at PSV. Pablo Counago and Jon Stead, who are both on the transfer list, will be amongst those eager to impress against the Dutch hosts.

All eyes will also be on Connor Wickham. The 17-year-old has been in the spotlight all summer, with regards transfer speculation.

Keane said of tonight’s game: “The strength of the opposition will obviously be a lot higher and it will be a big test for us. We are going out to win the game, but the main objective for us is the fitness levels and getting the players match-time.”

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