Donacien on his Ipswich Town future and why he wears the No.44 shirt
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Janoi Donacien is hoping to earn an extended stay at Ipswich Town after being given a chance by boss Paul Cook.
The defender’s career in blue has been something of a roller coaster ride. He was bought for £750,000 by Paul Hurst but pushed aside by Paul Lambert, who soon loaned him back to Accrington Stanley before being sent out on loan again last season, enjoying a fruitful spell with Fleetwood.
While the vast majority of last season’s squad were discarded, Cook took the option to extend Donacien’s contract by 12 months, with the 27-year-old now the Town boss’s starting right-back.
His contract is up again at the end of the season, but Donacien is hopeful of staying on.
“The gaffer just said I would play, so I got my head down and worked hard. I’m happy,” the defender said, when asked about his talks with Cook in the summer.
“Hopefully I’ll be here a long time. I like it here.
“I spoke to the gaffer about playing in a number of positions and how useful that could be.
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“I think there’s competition all over the pitch. Whether it’s me and Kane (Vincent-Young, at left-back (Matt) Penney and Hayden (Coulson), at centre-back when Toto (Nsiala) comes back. There’s competition everywhere, which is very good, it’s healthy for the boys.
“We have obviously signed a lot of players but everyone who has come here has been welcomed, they’re all good guys and it’s all fitting together.
“It’s football and everything seems to work out if you work hard and try your hardest.”
Donacien’s latest resurgence sees him wearing the No.44 shirt at Town, having begun his Ipswich career as No.2 before being stripped of that last summer and given the No.12 shirt instead.
He had free choice this summer, though.
The defender explained: “No.44? Well, No.4 is my favourite number and Chambo (Luke Chambers) has been four here for a long time. I didn’t fancy that.
“That’s not something you want to do. You don’t want to jump in there. That’s a big number. Rekeem can handle it.
“But 44 is the next best thing. I love it.”