Six senior players - including Downes - will start pre-season with Under-23s

Flynn Downes, Myles Kenlock and Kayden Jackson will begin pre-season training with the U23s.

Flynn Downes (left), Myles Kenlock (top right) and Kayden Jackson (bottom right) are among the Ipswich Town senior players who will begin pre-season training with the U23s. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

Six senior Ipswich Town players have been told they will start pre-season training with the club's Under-23s. Stuart Watson and Andy Warren report.


Six senior Ipswich Town players have been told they will start pre-season training with the club's Under-23s.

Blues players were informed yesterday, via written correspondence, which squad they would be involved with when reporting to Playford Road on Saturday.

Just 11 players are on the 'first team dressing room' list. They are summer signings Lee Evans and Wes Burns, plus Tomas Holy, Kane Vincent-Young, Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden, Toto Nsiala, Corrie Ndaba, Jon Nolan, Idris El Mizouni and James Norwood.

By contrast, there were 31 players on the 'Under-23s dressing room' list, including Flynn Downes, Kayden Jackson, Myles Kenlock, Teddy Bishop, Armando Dobra and Jack Lankester.

Aaron Drinan, who made 24 senior appearances last season, appears on neither list.

The letter states that these decisions are 'subject to change at the manager's discretion'.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook on the touchline during the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road,

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook is overseeing a major squad overhaul this summer. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Manager Paul Cook did not mince his words as the Blues limped to a ninth-place finish in League One, sympathising with the supporters' 'pain' and claiming he would be 'demolition man'

The EADT and Ipswich Star subsequently revealed that Cook had informed the vast majority of his squad that they were available for transfer during a series of short and blunt meetings.

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Already this summer, 18 first team players - who contributed to more than half of the team's league starts last season - have departed.

Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Freddie Sears, Alan Judge, James Wilson, Stephen Ward, Emyr Huws and Tristan Nydam were all released, with the first four having all subsequently signed for League Two neighbours Colchester United.

Gwion Edwards turned down a new deal and has signed for League One rivals Wigan, Andre Dozzell has signed for Championship club QPR after they triggered a £1m buy-out clause, Oli Hawkins has moved to fourth-tier Mansfield Town for a nominal fee, while David Cornell's contract has been terminated by mutual consent. 

In addition, Mark McGuinness, Luke Matheson, Josh Harrop, Keanan Bennetts, Luke Thomas and Troy Parrott saw their loan deals expire. 

More exits look likely too. We understand that several Championship clubs are interested in Downes, a player who handed in a transfer request last summer, while newly-promoted League One side Cambridge United are showing strong interest in Lankester.

Cook is yet to see four of the players named in his first team squad in action. Nolan saw his season ended in March by a knee injury, while Donacien, Ndaba and El Mizouni were all out on loan.

New Town chief executive Mark Ashton, backed by the club's new US-based owners, said recently that the club is currently in negotiations for 'four or five players'.

The Blues are understood to have struck a £500k deal with West Brom for midfielder Rekeem Harper and are now just waiting for the West Midlands club to sign that off once they've appointed a new manager.

Town start their pre-season campaign with a trip to non-league side Dartford on Saturday, July 10. The new League One season starts on August 7, with the fixture list revealed tomorrow. 

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