Jewell wants future signings to settle in Suffolk – just like Aaron Cresswell
HOUSE-HUNTING Aaron Cresswell is ready to settle in Suffolk – something manager Paul Jewell hopes to see more of from any future signings.
Former Blues boss Roy Keane insisted all his players should live within half an hour of the club’s Playford Road training ground, memorably falling out with the likes of Ben Thatcher and Kevin Lisbie as a result.
Jewell lifted that restriction when he took charge though, with many of his new additions – including the likes of Jimmy Bullard (Surrey) and Lee Bowyer (south Essex) – choosing to commute to work.
It’s a far cry from the days when players upped sticks and moved to Suffolk upon signing, often falling in love with the area and remaining there after hanging up their boots.
The likes of Alan Brazil, John Wark, Mick Mills, Allan Hunter, John McGreal and Matt Holland – to name but a few – still call East Anglia home to this day.
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“The problem with Ipswich is that we’ve got a lot of players that don’t live here,” admitted Jewell. “I’m not saying the players aren’t committed to the club – I’m not saying that at all – I just can’t expect players on a one-year contract to up sticks and move here because by the time the chain for their house goes through they could have left the club.”
He continued: “The market dictated that we had to make a lot of short-term decisions last season, but I really think we’ve got to get away from these short-term deals in football.
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“What we want to try and do is get people to see this as a long-term move and put down their roots.
“If you look at the former players – the John Warks, the Russell Osmans, all those people – they all stayed in this area after their careers because it’s such a lovely area to live.
“Young Cressy (Aaron Cresswell) is saving up for a deposit on a house at the moment which is great.
“We need to get back to having a core of seven or eight players who are in the team and likely to be at the club for the next two, three, four years at least. I’m working on that.”
Left-back Cresswell, who was signed from Tranmere aged 21 last summer, has been a virtual ever-present for the Blues in his debut season in the Championship.
His impressive start to life at Portman Road saw him quickly awarded with a new long-term deal which could, potentially, keep him at the club until 2016.
“When I came down at the start of the season I didn’t know anyone,” said Cresswell. “I was a young lad who had never lived away from home – I was still living with my mum – so yeah it’s been a big change.
“It’s a lot different to Liverpool – a lot quieter – but I love it here. My missus has come down now which makes it easier and hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll have my house.”