Two Bundesliga clubs, a Europa League side and three intriguing local games - a complete guide to Town’s pre-season
- Credit: Archant
Yesterday’s announcement that Ipswich will compete in the Interwetten Cup completes their pre-season plans. ANDY WARREN looks at the summer schedule.
Paderborn, Steinhagen - Saturday July 6, 3pm
The Ipswich players will be returning for pre-season training on Monday, June 24, before heading to Germany on July 4.
They begin their schedule of games on the outskirts of the city of Bielefeld, where they take on newly-promoted Bundesliga side SC Paderborn.
The game will be at the running track-circled Cronsbachstadion, the 5,000-capacity home of German seventh-tier side Spvg Steinhagen.
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Paderborn finished second in 2.Bundesliga last season to secure promotion along with Koln and Union Berlin and will also play Norwich City (on July 16) as part of their pre-season programme.
Interwetten Cup, Meppen - Sunday July 14, 2pm
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Details of the hotly-anticipated tournament to end Town's trip to Germany were finally announced yesterday.
This 'Blitz' tournament has become a mainstay on SV Meppen's footballing calendar, with the third tier club hosting the event prior to the start of their season on a regular basis.
This year they've attracted top flight side Fortuna Dusseldorf, Dutch club FC Utrecht and the Blues, with the day's four games all lasting 45 minutes and decided on penalties if the scores are level.
Ipswich will take on old friends Fortuna in the semi finals after Meppen and Utrecht contest the other, with the winners and losers meeting in a final and third-place play-off.
Ipswich and Fortuna have formed a close bond in recent years, with both sets of supporters making regular trips to the other. Just last month, 130 Blues fans travelled to watch Fortuna against Hannover 96.
The two faced each other before the start of the 2015/16 season, with the German side ultimately winning 4-3. Ipswich hosted Utrecht just a few weeks later, with that game finishing 1-1.
Meppen's Hansch Arena holds 13,600 with the event tailored to ensure supporters of all four clubs enjoy a relaxed and fun day.
Lambert organised for Stoke to take part in this tournament a year ago but, following his departure, Gary Rowett took charge of the Potters as they lost to both the hosts and Hamburg.
Colchester United, Community Stadium - Friday July 19, 7.30pm
The Blues will return to England for a few days of training before their first friendly match on home soil.
And they don't have to travel too far, either, making the 16-mile journey down the A12 to Colchester.
The U's, led by former Ipswich Town defender John McGreal, missed out on the League Two play-offs on the final day of last season despite winning at champions Lincoln and will be hoping to go one better in 2019/20.
Frank Nouble and Tom Eastman are the two former Ipswich players currently in the Colchester squad, while versatile wide-man Kane Vincent-Young was on trial with the Blues last summer. Diaz Wright, son of former Ipswich midfielder Jermaine, is also in the Colchester side.
The game will see Paul Lambert return to one of this former clubs, with the Scot taking charge of the U's during the 2008/09 season before joining Norwich just days after beating the Canaries 7-1 at Carrow Road.
The Blues last visited Colchester in July 2017, with Joe Garner scoring the only goal in the 1-0 friendly win.
Notts County, Meadow Lane - Tuesday July 23, 7pm
The Magpies were founder members of the Football League in 1888 but, following relegation at the end of last season, will be plying their trade in the National League next season.
Ipswich haven't played competitively at Meadow Lane for 16 years, when they were knocked out of the League Cup by lower league opposition, while the last league meeting between the two came back in 1991.
Mick McCarthy took his side there for a friendly in 2013, though, with the game ending in a 3-3 draw as Luke Hyam, Daryl Murphy and Paul Taylor found the net.
Bartosz Bialkowski and Alan Judge both had spells at County earlier in their careers, while former Blues Elliott Hewitt and Jon Stead were both released following relegation.
Cambridge United, Abbey Stadium - Saturday July 27, 1pm
Ipswich will finish their summer programme with a visit to Cambridge United.
The U's finished 21st in League Two last season, staying in the league with a cushion of six points, but will be hoping for better under manager Colin Calderwood.
The Blues last played at the Abbey Stadium in July 2016, with Andre Dozzell giving McCarthy's side the lead before Joe Pigott equalised late on.
Bermudan winger Reggie Lambe, who made six appearances for the Blues before departing in 2011, is part of the Cambridge squad.
Ipswich Town pre-season programme
Paderborn (a) Saturday, July 6 (3pm)
Interwetten Cup (Meppen) - July 14
Colchester United (a) - July 19 (7.30pm)
Notts County (a) - July 23 (7pm)
Cambridge United (a) - July 27 (1pm)
Coggeshall (a) - Saturday, 13 July (3pm)
Sudbury (a) - Saturday, 20 July (2pm)
Lowestoft (a) - Wednesday, 24 July (7.30pm)
Brighton (h) (Playford Road) - Tuesday, 9 July (2pm)
Reading (a) - Saturday, 13 July (12pm)
Leiston (a) - Saturday, 20 July (3pm)
Felixstowe & Walton United (a) - Tuesday, 23 July (7.45pm)
Tottenham (a) - Saturday, 27 July (11am)