Town have signed an eccentric in Volz

IN signing Moritz Volz, Ipswich have found not just a Premier League quality defender but a real character.

Derek Davis

IN signing Moritz Volz, Ipswich have found not just a Premier League quality defender but a real character.

Announcing his move to Portman Road on his own website, Volz admitted he was ready to swap his foldaway bicycle for a tractor.

Volz said: “This time it's actually true - I've agreed to a year's loan at Ipswich Town.

“I'm really looking forward to competing for first team football at Portman Road and hopefully pushing for a promotion place with what is a very good Championship team.

“I like what I've seen of the club so far and think Ipswich certainly have the potential to be a Premier League club once again. They have a good stadium and good facilities, and with the new owners there is a lot of ambition.

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“So I feel I'm in a good place where I can progress my career and improve my football.

“All that remains for me to do is to swap my folding bike for a tractor.”

The 25-year-old, who travels to training on his pushbike, fancies himself in the kitchen and could be Town's rival to Norwich City's Delia Smith

As a budding food critic it will be interesting to see what he makes of the restaurants around East Anglia, and his thoughts on the food at the Playford Road training ground.

Fitting in with the club's rigid policy regarding the media could be fun too as Volz has a regular column in a national newspaper and his own off-beat website, where he has been known to spill the beans on team-mates, including old pal Sylvain Legwinski who he reveals enjoys a cigarette and driving a beat up old VW.

How his new team-mates will take to his off-beat humour, and his devotion to David Hasselhoff, will be interesting to see but the dressing room needs all sorts.

With his wages believed to be around £15,000 a week, and the promise of a six figure bonus should Town be promoted, Volz will have to prove himself as a footballer rather than a comedian, on the pitch.

Although somewhat self deprecating about his talent, especially in his early days, Volz has made it clear he still harbours ambitions of making the German national team and getting Ipswich to the top flight could help him get noticed once more.

He played Under 21 level when with Shalke 04 and that helped him get spotted by Arsenal with Arsene Wenger taking him to Highbury and extolling his virtues.

His only appearance for the Gunners was a League Cup tie in November, 2000, ironically against Ipswich when full back Jamie Clapham scored the opener in a 2-1 win as Town reached the semi-finals.

A loan spell at Wimbledon was followed by a temporary stint at Fulham that turned into a permanent deal in the 2003-2004 season.

The popular full-back was swiftly adored by the Cottage faithful who dubbed him 15,000 Volz after he scored the 15,000th Premiership goal and gave the £15,000 cheque to three charities.

An ambassador for the Princes' Trust, Volz has been heavily involved in community work in west London, something Town will be keen to get him doing in East Anglia.

His playing career was stymied under Laurie Sanchez who brought in Chris Baird and new manager Roy Hodgson preferred on-loan Spurs defender Paul Salteri. After considering offers in France, where he likes to take his holidays, and his native Germany, Volz chose to join the Blues on loan.

Volz will be officially unveiled at a press conference this morning and goes straight into the squad, and probably the starting line-up, for the game at Watford tomorrow.

Blues boss Jim Magilton is delighted to finally tie up the deal after initially making Fulham an offer more than two week's ago.

Magilton said: “Moritz considers himself a Premier League player and so do I.”

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