‘Hurst is here to build something, there is finally a plan’

Paul Hurst is the man leading the Ipswich Town revolution

Paul Hurst is the man leading the Ipswich Town revolution - Credit: Archant

Sport Editor Mark Heath on the new era at Ipswich Town – and why fans should be excited.

Assistant Chris Doig (right) followed Paul Hurst to Ipswich from Shrewsbury Town. Photo: Steve Walle

Assistant Chris Doig (right) followed Paul Hurst to Ipswich from Shrewsbury Town. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

A Blue dawn.

Makes for a nice front page for us, of course, but in reality the concept runs far deeper than just an eye-catching graphic on the front of our kick-off supplement.

Because it truly feels like there’s something new and exciting happening at Portman Road, that a new era is actually beginning. And boy, did we need it.

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Ellis Harrison is one of Paul Hurst's new signings at Ipswich Town. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Ellis Harrison is one of Paul Hurst's new signings at Ipswich Town. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Forgive me for briefly mentioning the ghost of Christmas past, Mr Michael McCarthy. Big Mick – whatever you think of him now – did an excellent job in his first couple of seasons at Town, transforming a side which sat rock bottom of the league into play-off participants.

Indeed, we had a picture of Mick’s smiling face with the words HOPE emblazoned beneath it on our kick-off pull-out before that remarkable play-off season. Exciting times then, too.

But of course, as it turned out, things all went a little sour and stale, and grumpy old Mick talked his way out of the door at Portman Road, dropping the mic as he stropped off stage left.

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Marcus Evans promised us a new way in that long-awaited video address and, after a manager search which felt longer than the season itself, we had our new man – Paul ‘Hollywood’ Hurst. I call him Hollywood because of those cracking teeth, by the way – hopefully it will also be reflected in his big screen worthy football.

Janoi Donacien has arrived from Accrington Stanley. Photo: ITFC

Janoi Donacien has arrived from Accrington Stanley. Photo: ITFC - Credit: Archant

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And this does all feel a bit different, doesn’t it? Hurst, though similar to Mick in many ways – blunt, Yorkshire roots, careful with cash and pragmatic – is also excitingly refreshing.

A man who embraces sports science, is willing to shake things up to build a young and hungry team, who won’t play favourites and – crucially – sees Town as a step up in his career, not just another stop along the managerial merry-go-round.

Hurst is here to build something, there is finally a plan. It may take time, but it is exciting. A Blue dawn indeed.