Former Ipswich midfielder Hyam takes first steps in management

Luke Hyam is back in the Ipswich Town side and battling to earn a new contract. Picture: Steve Wa

Luke Hyam is the new manager of Woodbridge Town - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Luke Hyam has been named the new manager of Woodbridge Town. 

Hyam, who played 146 times for Ipswich between 2010 and 2018, has been out of football since being forced to end his playing career in 2020 due to a back injury. 

The 30-year-old will officially begin work with Woodbridge, who play in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, at the end of the season and will be assisted by former Town academy player Billy Clark. He replaces Leon Moore, who stepped down as manager before Christmas.

Hyam, a former Northgate High School pupil, says he had always planned to play non-league football in Suffolk once his professional career had ended, before injury took hold, and is now excited to begin his coaching career after rekindling his love for the game. 

Hyam, pictured during an Under 23s game from earlier in the season. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Luke Hyam's career was cut short by a back injury - Credit: Archant

“Unfortunately I had to retire earlier than I would have liked, but you have to move on and look to the future and try new opportunities, taking yourself out of your comfort zone,” Hyam told Woodbridge's club website.. 

“I always planned to play non-league football towards the back end of my career to play with friends and enjoy it as much as possible. Since I've retired I've done a bit of commentary (on Ipswich games) with BBC Radio Suffolk which I've really enjoyed. After taking a couple of years out of football I've started to enjoy watching it again after falling out of love with the game. 

“It never really appealed to me to go into coaching or management professionally, I felt I'd enjoy it and get more out of it locally. 

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“I'm really excited about the opportunity to come into Woodbridge as manager. The club want to build on its superb infrastructure and Billy and myself want to come in and be a part of that going forward. It feels like a real family club with plenty of potential. 

“First and foremost, I want to come in and make it enjoyable for everyone. I'll be both approachable and honest with the players. The hardest part of football can be to get players on side, so I want to ensure the players enjoy their football and look forward to joining up with all the lads. I want to make it a 'feel good' place.” 

Woodbridge chairman Adam Dalby said: “First and foremost, Luke brings experience of playing at the highest levels in football. This experience will be invaluable to our young squad, his energy and positivity as well as professionalism will be great to have around the club. 

“Fresh ideas and new contacts are always great for teams at our level and will build towards out club goals.  

“This will be Luke's first step in football management and I'm overjoyed that he is making that step with Woodbridge Town.” 

Woodbridge currently sit eighth in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division table, the ninth tier of the English game. 

Former Ipswich Town midfilder Luke Hyam has been released by Southend United. Picture: PA

Former Ipswich Town midfilder Luke Hyam has been released by Southend United. Picture: PA - Credit: PA