Opportunity to win over a new generation of fans

FAMILY DAY: Ipswich Town player Jay Emanuel-Thomas inside a zorb ball, with team mate Carlos Edwards

FAMILY DAY: Ipswich Town player Jay Emanuel-Thomas inside a zorb ball, with team mate Carlos Edwards giving him a push. Zorb balling will be just one of the events taking place around the Blues' final home game of the season, against Birmingham City tomorrow. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Ipswich v Birmingham: IPSWICH Town skipper Carlos Edwards hopes the club can win over a new generation of fans tomorrow.

The Blues have always been known as a family club, but more than a decade of mediocrity in the Championship has seen many youngsters in Suffolk follow the Premier League big boys in recent times.

A spectacular revival under the management of Mick McCarthy means there will be a feel-good factor surrounding Town’s latest mid-table finish, though.

And tomorrow’s final home game of the campaign, against Birmingham City, is set to be the biggest attendance of the season – possibly topping the 22,000 mark – thanks to warm weather and a ‘kids for a quid’ ticket offer.

“It’s always important to have the young generation involved,” said Edwards. “I hope we get some new young fans in for the final match because it create a good atmosphere. “I can promise you that the kids’ little voices are heard and that when they shout your name it encourages you to go on.”

Town’s players will have their own young family members with them as mascots tomorrow. And they hope that supporters will stay behind after the final whistle tomorrow for the traditional end-of-season lap of the pitch.

“The support has been absolutely great,” said Edwards, who will be joined on the field by his six-year-old daughter Melanie. “They’ve stuck with us through thick and thin, travelled in numbers and it’s only fair we give them their lap of honour. That’s what it is – it’s their lap of honour, not our lap of honour.

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“I hope the fans will stay back after the game so we can applaud them because they’ve really helped us in getting some really tough results and have played a big part in some of our victories.”

Town team-mate Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who will have nine-year-old goddaughter Summer alongside him, said: “We want to show the fans our appreciation. We’ve had our ups and downs, but they’ve stood by us.

“We just wish the season had started at the beginning of November. Who knows where we might have finished had there been a few more games?”