'I loved my time here... I should have stayed' - Former loanee Jeffers back with Town in coaching role

Francis Jeffers is back with Ipswich Town as first-team coach

Francis Jeffers is back with Ipswich Town as first-team coach - Credit: ITFC

Ipswich Town have confirmed Francis Jeffers’ return to the club as first-team coach. 

The former Everton and Arsenal striker, who spent time on loan with the Blues in 2007, is now part of Cook’s coaching staff ahead after leaving his role coaching with the Toffees’ Under 23s. 

As previously reported, Jeffers has been at the club’s training ground in recent days and is thought to have been involved in recruitment meetings and discussions with players, before his return was confirmed. 

“It’s a great opportunity for me and one I couldn’t turn down,” Jeffers said. 

“I’m an Evertonian so it was a difficult decision to leave but Ipswich is a massive club and I’m relishing the chance to help the club get back to where it should be. 

“I’ve been a big admirer of Paul Cook and his work for many years and now to be part of his backroom team is very exciting and I can't wait to get going.” 

Jeffers links up with Gary Roberts once again, with the pair team-mates during his Town loan spell, which yielded four goals in nine games. 

The Blues looked into the possibility of signing him permanently ahead of the start of the following season but he ultimately joined Sheffield Wednesday.

Francis Jeffers celebrates his goal at Hull

Francis Jeffers, pictured during his loan spell with Town in 2007

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“Obviously I was here as a player on loan and I loved my time here," Jeffers continued. "I’ve seen some familiar faces around the place and it’s brought back some great memories. I should have stayed to be honest. 

“The fans took to me and I took to them and now I’ve got another opportunity to be involved at this fantastic club."

Cook is still searching for an assistant manager and a goalkeeping coach heading into a busy summer. The Town boss has allowed Matt Gill and Jimmy Walker to move on since replacing Paul Lambert as manager in March. 

Francis Jeffers was among the scorers as Town beat Barnsley 5-1 at Portman Road in April 2007

Francis Jeffers, pictured during his loan spell with Town in 2007

Cook's former long-term assistant Leam Richardson has taken on the Wigan job full-time meaning that reunion is not possible in Suffolk.

It's understood that Cook will appoint his former Wigan kit man Ian Craney - another Liverpudlian - to a coaching role over the coming weeks though, with former U23s coach Gerard Nash, who is currently in an opposition analysis role, set to depart. 

Kieron Dyer has taken on first team duties under Cook over recent weeks, but looks likely to return to his role as Under-23s manager.