How will Town’s coaching changes affect players?

IPSWICH TOWN: Gary Ablett this week joined the growing list of coaches who have worked for the Blues in the 14 months that Roy Keane has been manager.

And with Keane wanting to recruit an experienced assistant manager there looks like being yet another influence on the training ground in the not too distant future.

Town fans have been left wondering how this will affect the harmony of the players as the club enters a big season after struggling to make any impression for a number of years now.

The sudden departure of Ian McParland after Ipswich confirmed last week that the former Notts County manager was only temporarily absent following a close season operation has added to the feeling among many fans that all is not right behind the scenes.

This follows the brief association with former England boss Peter Taylor last season when depending on which version of events you read Taylor worked very briefly with the team – personalised tracksuit and all – before taking an abrupt leave.

Ipswich have confirmed that McParland has left for family reasons while their interest in Taylor did not materialise beyond the discussion stage.

Keane has his loyal right hand man in first team coach Tony Loughlan, who followed him from Sunderland, and fitness coach Antonio Gomez, who also worked with Keane at the Stadium of Light.

Most Read

The former Republic of Ireland international remained loyal to his predecessor Jim Magilton’s senior coaches Bryan Klug and Steve Foley when he took over in April 2009.

Klug had little involvement in first team affairs last season until his rather hasty departure last winter with Klug remaining tight lipped. He has been reported to have been doing some coaching work at Tottenham.

Foley took over the reins of the reserves following Klug’s departure having previously been in the first team dug-out and travelling to all away Championship matches. He has also kept his thoughts to himself.

Foley’s contract was not renewed at the end of last season, and he is currently chewing over a possible move to USA club Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Assuming that Ablett is taken on permanently after arriving at Playford Road this week, Town fans will want to see the coaching side settled down once an assistant is appointed.

Keane is searching for a ‘father figure’; someone who has managed at the highest level and has vast experience that he can be pass down.

It is no great surprise that Keane has made no signings since the end of last season with club owner Marcus Evans insisting that the books are balanced and players must be transferred before any new ones can come in.

But the fact that Keane has mainly purchased players with Irish connections or from his former club Sunderland has led to the manager’s doubters questioning the range of his links in the football world and his ability to make successful moves in the transfer market.

Keane’s perfect answer to his critics would be to oversee a productive pre-season, and then get the new campaign off to a successful start from which he can build.

If he takes the Blues high in the Championship table, his critics will fade away as well training ground rumours that always circulate during trying times.

Hot shot striker Connor Wickham missed Town’s 9-1 win at Ridgeons League Newmarket Town on Tuesday as he is being eased back in after helping England win the Under-17 European championship at the end of May.

The 17-year-old could feature against Histon in Friday’s friendly at the Blue Square Premier Cambridgeshire-based club.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter