Ipswich Town’s shrewd summer business is done ahead of today’s 6pm deadline
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
While other Championship clubs scramble around for some last minute additions before today’s 6pm transfer deadline, Ipswich Town will be content that they have completed their shrewd summer business.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy has once again strengthened his squad whilst turning a profit in the market, the final pieces in the jigsaw added at the end of last week in Polish defender Piotr Malarczyk and Australian winger Tommy Oar.
A first team squad number of 23 has been reached, with the Blues having two players of similar quality now for every position. And below that there are several top young prospects keeping everyone on their toes.
Bartosz Bialkowski, Christophe Berra, Jonathan Parr, Kevin Bru, Teddy Bishop, Luke Hyam and Daryl Murphy have all been unavailable at various stages in the opening month of the campaign, yet Town still sit third in the Championship table and have a Capital One Cup third round match at Manchester United to look forward to heading into the international break.
Having arrived during a dark period for the club in November 2012, McCarthy took the team back to basics, slowly built a solid base and has now added a sprinkling of star dust.
Owner Marcus Evans, who has kept faith in his convictions, has ignored any calls for him to spend millions in transfer fees and instead tied down key players to long-term contracts. Loan fees, new players’ wages and continued investment in the academy won’t have come cheap either.
McCarthy’s unsung support staff deserve a great deal of credit too.
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Director of football Dave Bowman and head of performance analyst Jordan Miles have led the scouting operation, the former using his wealth of contacts and the latter going through hours of highlights reels trying to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Assistant manager Terry Connor twice flew over to Norway to watch left-back Jonas Knudsen in action before he was signed from Esbjerg, while Under-21s boss Mark Kennedy did the same with Malarczyk in Poland.
There’s a healthy mix of experience and youth, functional and fancy players, with plenty of leaders among them.
One thing they all have in common is that, be they homegrown, domestic recruits or from abroad, all have a point to prove at various stages of their careers.
Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat to Brighton may have been disappointing, but there is still plenty to be encouraged by.