Jim begins quest for new keeper coach

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton is back at Portman Road today starting a search for a new goalkeeping coach to replace Andy Rhodes.With big doubts over whether Town's current goalkeepers Stephen Bywater (on loan from Derby), and Nick Colgan (on a short-term contract to June 30), will still be at the club at the start of next season, the situation has to be addressed.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton is back at Portman Road today starting a search for a new goalkeeping coach to replace Andy Rhodes.

With big doubts over whether Town's current goalkeepers Stephen Bywater (on loan from Derby), and Nick Colgan (on a short-term contract to June 30), will still be at the club at the start of next season, the situation has to be addressed.

And this could lead to a return to the club for Malcolm Webster, who was the Blues' goalkeeping coach under George Burley's managerial reign.

He followed Burley to Derby and then Southampton where he is currently under contract. But Webster lives in Soham and would perhaps welcome a move back to East Anglia.

Magilton was a player at Ipswich when Webster was working successfully with the Town's keepers including Richard Wright, who was all set to return to the club last summer.

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Ipswich-raised Wright still has a house in the town, but his expected move from Everton failed to materialise and he ended up at West Ham where he has sat on the bench this season.

If Webster was to return to Ipswich it would increase the chances of Wright also making a return.

Shane Supple wants to play first team football next season after a couple of years where his career has stagnated, and whether this is at Ipswich or on loan remains to be seen.

If Webster does not fit the bill, Magilton, who has been away for most of the time since Town ended their Coca-Cola Championship fixtures, could be looking for someone who can act as back-up keeper and also begin a coaching career.

Former Town youth team keeper James Hollman left his post as Norwich City goalkeeping coach during last season and lives locally.

Another former keeper and Canary coach Danny Laws may also be considered as he has worked wonders as manager of Needham Market and may well consider a return to full-time football.

But Magilton is more likely to begin his search looking at a more experienced keeper to replace Rhodes, whose son Jordan remains on the books of Ipswich Town where he is an up-and-coming striker.

The Norwich goalkeeping post is reported to have been filled, which rules Rhodes out of a possible move to Carrow Road where Bryan Gunn has been filling in as coach and Tommy Wright and Mark Crossley have been mentioned as possible replacements for Hollman.

Rhodes left Ipswich by 'mutual consent' last weekend and will be taking time to consider his options.