Boss McKenna on Town's 'challenging and important' pre-season schedule

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna before the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road, Ipswich. Pi

Kieran McKenna is taking his Ipswich Town team to Loughborough for pre-season - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna believes the club has put together a solid pre-season schedule as they look to prepare for the new season. 

The Blues are due to return to Playford Road in the middle of June before heading to Loughborough University for a week-long training camp, which will likely include a mix of physical and football sessions as well as work using the campus’s world class facilities and guest speakers. 

Town have opted for Loughborough having looked into a potential camp in Austria, before ultimately deciding uncertainty over Covid and the war in Ukraine meant it would be more sensible to stay at home. 

The games programme has yet to be made public, with McKenna hinting at a mix of matches with teams at Premier League and Championship level as well as with sides in divisions beneath the Blues. 

The Town boss also suggested the likelihood of games at Portman Road in the build-up to the season. 

“I do enjoy this time of year,” he said in a club interview. 

“During the season you’re not often looking more than three days ahead at the next game but in the summer you can take a slightly longer view of things over a six-or-seven-week period.  

Most Read

“It’s about getting a range of experiences in pre-season. 

“We need enough of a challenge against teams in and around our level but then also some stretch games against teams from the Premier League or top end of the Championship. Those will be challenges and a good opportunity for players. 

“But we also want games against our level or a bit below that we can use to get different things out of the games. We want a variety. 

“We want games at Portman Road as well where supporters can come and look at the team and see how it’s going as we head into the season.  

“It’s important to share the minutes around the squad as well.” 

McKenna, along with Town assistant Martyn Pert, is a former Loughborough student and believes the campus is the perfect place for his side to begin their preparations. 

“Loughborough is somewhere I know well and has been a popular training camp for different teams over the last few years,” the Town boss said. 

“It has good facilities and is in a good location so we will be able to put a good week’s work in while spending a lot of time with the players on the pitch.  

“There will be some double and triple sessions but also some time with the players off the pitch, spending some time with them away from home and getting to know them a bit better while enjoying each other’s company. 

“It should be a really good week for us. The football facilities are great and it’s world-renowned for other elite sports too. We’ll look to tap into that with a few different speakers and by visiting a few different areas of the campus.” 

The Blues are likely to confirm their pre-season opponents in the coming weeks.