Scott Loach: We can be better than the class of 2000

Ipswich Town keeper Scott Loach. PHOTO: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ipswich Town keeper Scott Loach. PHOTO: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town fan-turned-goalkeeper Scott Loach believes the current crop of Blues can emulate the success of his Portman Road idols.

Richard Wright celebrates Ipswich Town's play-off final victory over Barnsley in 2000. PHOTO: Richar

Richard Wright celebrates Ipswich Town's play-off final victory over Barnsley in 2000. PHOTO: Richard Niblock.

The 25-year-old was born in Nottingham, but his family moved to Halstead in Essex when he was just four and by the age of nine he was a member of the Ipswich academy.

And during his three years on the club’s books (1997-2000), the young keeper became a huge supporter of the club as George Burley’s side finished fifth, third and third – finally winning promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs at the fourth attempt.

Taking a quick break from signing autographs for the hundreds of young fans who attended the club’s open training session on Tuesday, Loach points up high into the East of England Co-operative Society Stand.

“That’s where I used to sit with my dad, up in M Block,” he says. “I’d have loved days like this. I’d have been down the front getting three or four autographs off of every player.

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“Richard Wright, Matt Holland, Bobby Petta and David Johnson – they were the ones I looked up to.”

That was 13 years ago now though and, following four successive bottom-half finishes in the Championship, Loach wants to be part of a new group of players whose names will roll off the tongue in years to come.

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“That was a good team back then and when I look around me now I think we’ve got everything in our make-up to do similar things, if not better,” said the custodian. “I see no reason why we can’t go on and match their success.

“I’m not just saying that because I think that’s the right thing to say. If you put a camera in the dressing room then you’d see how we all get on together and how there are no little groups. There is some good competition for places here and plenty of players who can step in and mould into what we’re doing.”

Politely excusing himself to sign some more autographs, Loach added: “I’ve been lucky enough to train with people like Joe Hart and Ben Foster, but when I first walked into the training ground here and saw Richard Wright it was a bit surreal for me. He was the first footballing hero I had as an eight-year-old and I want to have the same affect on these kids.”

– Follow reporter @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for all the latest Blues news.

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