Jim is keen to loan out players

THE dire state of reserve football for Coca-Cola Championship clubs has led to Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton today confirming that he is keen to loan out a number of his players before the transfer window closes.

Elvin King

THE dire state of reserve football for Coca-Cola Championship clubs has led to Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton today confirming that he is keen to loan out a number of his players before the transfer window closes.

In fact, the importance of temporarily off-loading emerging stars to give them competitive football is as high on Magilton's immediate agenda as strengthening his first-team squad.

Monday's 12-1 walkover over MK Dons confirmed the poor quality of table-topping Town's Pontin's Holidays Combination fixture list.

Players like Jaime Peters are perhaps getting a few minutes of first team action each month - plus a couple of second XI games that are only a little more taxing than practice matches.

One of Town's most promising young stars Tommy Smith has confirmed his keenness to go on loan even though the Blues are in the fifth round of the prestigious FA Youth Cup.

Most Read

The commanding central defender knows he needs competitive games at his age, and he said: “I have seen how much Jordan Rhodes has benefited from going on loan to Oxford.

“If the manager thinks that would be the next step for me, I'd love to go on loan somewhere.

“Our reserve league is not the best and the top end of the non-league scene is probably a better standard, so if an opportunity came up to play at that level every week, I would love to take it up.”

Smith was close to a loan move to Peter Taylor's Stevenage Town a couple of weeks ago, and another defender Chris Casement is currently being linked with the Blue Square Premier.

Rushden and Diamonds assistant manager Kevin Hales watched the 12-1victory over MK Dons at Playford Road. West Ham were also present.

Within the last fortnight George O'Callaghan has been released, Ian Miller sold (to Darlington) while Matt Richards is back on loan at Brighton.

Magilton will be looking to loan-out the likes of Peters, Smith, Casement, Dean Bowditch, who has just returned from a loan spell with Northampton, Sammy Moore, Michael Synnott and possibly Dan Harding on a short-term basis.

Plymouth, who turned down a transfer request from Town's number one target David Norris, have now confirmed that they have formally rejected Ipswich's second offer for the midfielder believed to be around £1.75 million.

Ipswich look as though they will need to go up to £2 million to stand a chance of signing Norris, and with wages and other add-ons his purchase would eat into around half of the £12 million chest Magilton has been handed following the club's takeover by Marcus Evans.

Ipswich will complete the permanent signing of Alan Quinn from Sheffield United today with the fee reported to be £400,000.

IRISH side Galway United are to spend five days training at Playford Road next month as part of their pre-season programme.

Ipswich Town boss Jim Magilton is a good friend of Galway manager Tony Cousins, the pair having been youth players at Liverpool together.