Moritz shares festive secrets

IPSWICH Town defender Moritz Volz has let Blues fans into some of the secrets of being a professional footballer over the festive season.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town defender Moritz Volz has let Blues fans into some of the secrets of being a professional footballer over the festive season.

The 25-year-old German will have a big part to play when the Blues entertain third-placed Birmingham City in the Coca-Cola Championship at Portman Road on Boxing Day (kick-off 3pm).

He admits to having three points against Alex McLeish's side near the top of his present list, and writing in his very popular website diary he added: “Fortunately we're at home this Christmas, which means we won't be stuck in some hotel.

“There are a lot of great things about playing football for a living, but that is most definitely not one of them.

“Either way, as has been the case on every Christmas Day of my professional career, I'll be training.

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“And even when we're done, the rest of the day is still a write-off as I'll be getting into pre-match mode.

“Being German, Christmas Eve is a big day chez Volz, so I usually allow myself to eat some decent stuff then. But after that it's back on the brown rice and pasta.

“England is one of the only countries in Europe where there's no winter break, and the time-honoured tradition of games on Boxing Day means anyone involved in my line of work will be grafting away while everyone else is getting stuck in to the turkey.”

But Volz, who is on a season's loan from Premier League Fulham, is well aware that his job carries many plusses.

He continued: “Before you start feeling too sorry for us players there is some fun to be had in any football club's festive calendar.

“One of my favourites is the customary afternoon of carols from the academy boys. They hate doing it but that's part of the fun.

“I can't remember what I sang as a young lad at Arsenal, but I do know it wouldn't have been a patch on the two Ghanaian kids who got up at Fulham last season and threw a bit of dancing into the mix!

“But if you're feeling a tinge of sympathy at the humiliation of these stars of the future, forget it. The young fellers certainly know how to work Christmas to their advantage too.

“At Ipswich the scholars still clean the first team players' boots and, well, put it this way, you don't need a calendar to know when Christmas - and therefore the chance of a bonus - is coming.

“You just have to look at the immaculate shine on your boots that seems to coincide with this time of year before the normal patchy service is resumed in January!”

“Storage containers for my kitchen. That's top of my Christmas list this year. And some socks, striped ones of course.

“Oh, and three points on Boxing Day, too. So if you're reading this Santa, I've been a good boy this year and I'd appreciate it if you could sort me out.”

Boxing Day's likely squads

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Volz, Naylor, McAuley, D Wright, Thatcher, Balkestein, Walters, Norris, Haynes, Miller, Garvan, Shumulikoski, Quinn, Ambrose, Supple, Stead, Counago, Lisbie, Rhodes.

Birmingham City: M Taylor, Parnaby, Jaidi, Ridgewell, Queudrue, Murphy, Larsson, Carsley, Quashie, McFadden, Phillips, Jerome, Doyle, Hunt, Agustien, Bent, Owusu-Abeyie.

Referee: Mr I Williamson (Berkshire).