Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse on growing up with Bristol City and representing his boyhood team
Cole Skuse returns to Ashton Gate for the first time as an opposition player today, when his Ipswich Town side travel to Bristol City.
The 30-year-old joined Ipswich on a free transfer from the Robins in 2013, bringing to an end a 17-year stint at Ashton Gate which began in the academy and conluded with him playing over 300 games for the club.
Skuse said: “I was born and raised on the Bristol Rovers side of town but my dad was a Bristol City fan and I kind of followed suit.
“I had a short spell at Rovers as a kid and at training I would wear a Bristol City bobble hat folded over at the front. I have always been a Bristol City fan and used to watch them every week.”
Skuse made his debut for the Robins as a defender in a game at Colchester 11 years ago, but went on to make his name as a midfielder as the Robins got to the brink of the Premier League in 2008, only to lose to Hull in the play-off final, a game he missed.
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“My first start was at Colchester and I played in the middle of a back three. I made my debut as a centre-half but I thought there was too much heading and thrashing around involved and I thought ‘I can’t do this every week!’.
Skuse took the big decision to leave the west country three years ago and reflects on his switch to Suffolk and his time at Ipswich so far.
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“It got to a stage where I was there for that long, I needed a change, a fresh start. It was nothing to do with relegation, had we stayed in the league I would have still left. I needed a change for myself and my family.
“I never knew too much about Ipswich before I came, but I spoke to people like Jon Stead and Bradley Orr who pointed me in the right direction and I could not have moved to a better place.
Since signing for Ipswich, Skuse has been a permanent fixture under Mick McCarthy but has struggled to find the net, indeed his only goal was against Bristol City’s fierce rivals, Cardiff.
Frequently watched by his dad, who has followed his son’s progress avidly since the beginning, Skuse revealed: “He missed the game when I scored against Cardiff!
“He has missed a couple since then due to weddings and things and when I got in the car after the (Cardiff) game) I’d had my fair share of missed calls and messages off him and they were not all polite!
He added: “My dad did not miss a game after I started playing at eight or nine.
“Now everything I do is for for wife and kids and family.
“I try and repay (family) them as much as I can as, without them, I would never be here now and would not have played as many games for Bristol City, I owe a massive amount to my mum and dad.”