Ipswich Town chief scout Dave Bowman talks budgets and blueprints ahead of what could be a busy transfer window
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is due to sit down with owner Marcus Evans to discuss transfer and wage budgets over the coming days. STUART WATSON caught up with chief scout Dave Bowman to discuss the player recruitment plan.
Widemen and a goalkeeper top the list of priorities for Ipswich Town in the transfer market this summer as Mick McCarthy attempts to repeat his proven recipe for Championship success.
Solid, if not spectacular, central-midfielder Cole Skuse has arrived on a Bosman free transfer from Bristol City and will play an important role in maintaining the organised approach which proved so key to the Blues’ survival last season.
With left-winger Lee Martin released at the end of his contract and right-winger Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on the transfer list, Mick McCarthy is now keen on bringing in some pacy and direct-running players to provide the added attacking dimension which will be required if progress is going to be made on a 14th-place finish.
Players in the mould of Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly – who proved key when McCarthy won the Championship at Wolves – will be targeted, with Notts County’s Alan Judge and Brentford’s Harry Forrester understood to be high on the list.
In addition, an experienced keeper is wanted to provide serious competition to Scott Loach for the No.1 spot.
Chief scout Dave Bowman – who, alongside fellow scout Ian Evans and coach Terry Connor, has been one of McCarthy’s loyal lieutenants throughout the majority of his lengthy managerial career – has spent the last six months scouring Britain for the players that will take the Blues to the next level in the Championship next season.
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And, regardless of the budget that owner Marcus Evans affords them, he is convinced that the player recruitment blueprint which helped McCarthy win the Championship title with both Sunderland and Wolves will come up trumps again.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions on wide players and goalkeepers,” said Bowman.
“I’ve worked with Mick for nearly 30 years and I know exactly the sort of players he likes. We have a blueprint which we’ve used successfully to get promoted out of this division twice before.
“Mick’s old school. He will change formation if needed, but generally he plays 4-4-2 and why wouldn’t he? “That’s the system that’s got him so much success throughout his career.
“The remit has always been to try and get some from the lower divisions and take the odd gamble on a non-league player.
“We’ve always seemed to get success with keen, young and hungry players. Look at the likes of (Dean) Whitehead, Danny Collins and Stephen Elliott at Sunderland; Matt Jarvis and (Michael) Kightly at Wolves.
“Finding players like them in the lower leagues and passing them on to Mick and TC to develop has always been something we’ve prided ourselves on. We’ve already started that here by taking on (Anthony) Wordsworth and Tyrone Mings last season.
“As well as the lower leagues, we’re also looking at players released from the big clubs – the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
“You’ve always got to supplement that with a bit of proven quality though – players who have done it in the Premier League and Championship.”
MICK McCarthy will discover his transfer and wage budget in the coming days.
The Blues boss, along with chief scout Dave Bowman, is due to sit down with owner Marcus Evans before the end of next week and discuss just how much – or little – he has to spend as he attempts to build his own squad ahead of his first full season in charge at Portman Road.
Bowman has already drawn up a lengthy list of targets, but – with new Financial Fair Play rules about to start – he is prepared to work on a shoestring.
“We are sitting down with the owner in the next week or so to discuss the sort of budget we’ve got to work with,” revealed Newcastle-based Bowman. “We’ve had preliminary discussions, but this will determine a more specific level.
“We know our targets and the people we’d like to bring in and we’ll be giving that list to the owner, but it’s all going to come down to budget and could be dependent on who takes some of our guys as well.
“Two of them are obviously transfer listed (Michael Chopra and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas).”
He continued: “We’ve got a very open relationship with the owner, but we’ve got to be realistic in terms of what we are looking at.
“Like all clubs, the Financial Fair Play rules are going to prove restrictive both in terms of the transfer fees we can pay and the wages we can spend.
“We know the football club spent quite a bit before we came in. We inherited quite a large wage bill, hence why we didn’t really buy anybody last season.
“Frank Nouble was the only bit of business really in terms of permanent buys.
“Look at the likes of Richard Stearman – can we afford him?
“That’s the sort of thing we need to discuss. Everybody on the staff would love him to sign, but we could be priced out of the market.
“The owner at Wolves (Steve Morgan) is a rich man – he’s valued at something in excess of £500m.
“You’d have thought he’d need to lower that wage bill in League One – which was already large for the Championship – but we’ve seen first hand how he can play hardball when he managed to receive big fees for the likes of (Matt) Jarvis, (Michael) Kightly and (Steven) Fletcher.”
He added: “There are going to be a huge number of players out-of-contract this summer and I think we’re going to see a lot of free transfers in general.”
Ipswich Town are hopeful of landing some young Scottish talent this summer.
The Suffolk side were linked with Kilmarnock keeper Cammy Bell prior to his move to Rangers, while it’s understood that St Johnstone box-to-box midfielder Murray Davidson and St Mirren winger Kenny McLean are on the radar.
Town have had to shelve plans to face St Mirren in pre-season due to a schedule clash, but Blues boss Mick McCarthy still wants to take his squad on a mini two-game tour north of the border over the coming weeks.
And there’s a good chance that there could be some young Scots in the ranks by the time that trip comes around.
“We’ve done a lot of scouting in Scotland and we think there’s some exceptional young talent up there,” revealed Town chief scout Dave Bowman.
“We’re only looking domestically for players and the plan, as it has always been throughout my long time working with Mick, is to find some young, keen and hungry players to bring to the club.”
The EADT understands that no approach has been made for either Davidson or McLean yet, with Irishman Alan Judge – keen to move up to the Championship from League One side Notts County – and rising Brentford star Harry Forrester the top targets.
With the transfer window opening again on July 1, the Blues have already got agreements in place to sign recent loanee striker David McGoldrick on a two-year deal from Nottingham Forest and central-midfielder Cole Skuse on a Bosman free transfer from recently-relegated Championship side Bristol City.
“We’ve been looking at Cole for about six months,” said Bowman. “All the background reports we’ve had on him were first class. “We’re delighted to get him because we look at this club like a family and we only want the right people coming into that family.
“If you speak to anyone here they’ll tell you that the training ground has been lively and positive place over the last six months.
“There’s an atmosphere where everybody wants to help each other.
“Our philosophy has always been ‘treat people how you want to be treated yourself’. “The manager treats his players with respect, but they also know that if they take liberties and step out of line then that’s it for them.”