Naylor: I had no future at Town

RICHARD Naylor has revealed that he was told by Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton that he did not feature in his plans any more.

Elvin King

RICHARD Naylor has revealed that he was told by Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton that he did not feature in his plans any more.

The 31-year-old defender ended 15 years' service at Portman Road yesterday by signing a two-and-a-half year contract with League One Leeds United after initially joining the club on loan last month. There is no fee involved.

Naylor, who joined Town from school and was their longest-serving player, said: “When the manager spoke to me and told me that I wouldn't be playing games at Ipswich, I knew I would probably have to move on.

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“My contract was up in the summer and when Jim asked me if I fancied a loan move to Leeds, it was too good a chance to turn down.”

Naylor, who has already captained Leeds, made 387 first-team appearances and scored 41 goals for the Blues and went on: “I'm proud to have played for Ipswich Town; it's a fantastic football club.

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“It was always going to be hard to leave. The fans were fantastic to me and helped me through when I was a young player and I'd like to thank them for their support.

“There are so many highlights, scoring at Wembley in the play-off final is obviously one, but I think the whole season when we came fifth in the Premier League and qualified for the UEFA Cup stands out above the rest.

“There was an amazing spirit between the players and a great atmosphere about the place in general.

“I've had 15 years at Ipswich and it does feel strange knowing that I'm now playing for another club but everyone knows what Leeds means to me.

“They are my home-town club, I supported them as a boy and it's always been a dream of mine to play for them.

“I feel I have given Ipswich decent service and they will always be an important part of my life. It's been my home for 15 years. I wouldn't have made a decision like this to go to any other club.”

Magilton praised the player who used to be his room-mate on away games. The Town manager said of the player, nicknamed Bamm-Bamm after the Flintstones character, “Richard has been a wonderful servant for Ipswich Town.

“I made him club skipper here at the start of the season because of the respect he has around the place and in his time here he has been a first-class professional.

“He went to Leeds on loan because he wanted to be playing games. Leeds made it clear they wanted him on a permanent deal so he joins them with us wishing him every success for the future.”

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