Town seek high-profile opponents

IPSWICH Town fans can expect to see high-profile opposition at Portman Road as a climax to the Blues' pre-season preparations.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town fans can expect to see high-profile opposition at Portman Road as a climax to the Blues' pre-season preparations.

Traditionally, Town have wound up their summer's work with a home match and West Ham and West Brom were both visitors to Suffolk just prior to the 2008/09 campaign.

Italian club Lazio, Scottish giants Rangers and Greek high fliers Panathinaikos were previous opponents, with Lazio set to make one more visit as part of former goalkeeper Matteo Sereni's transfer deal.


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Town are still completing their pre-season programme, but there is a gap between the Fabian Wilnis testimonial home game against Colchester United on July 25 and the start of the Coca-Cola Championship on August 8.

Ipswich are working on a top foreign side or Premier League opposition with the weekend August 1 and 2 the likely date.

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Blues fans, buoyed by Roy Keane's appointment as manager, are already thirsting to see Ipswich in action again and to take a look at the new signings Keane is expected to make over the next two months.

Town are set to play three games in Ireland, with a match against FAI First Division side Finn Harps confirmed for July 7.

A fixture in Keane's home town Cork is pencilled in for July 19, with a match also at Limerick on July 17.

Limerick board member Andrew Mawhinney said: “Ipswich have offered a friendly and we're currently considering the viability of playing.

“We're talking to other clubs to turn it into a double-header to make it more attractive for soccer fans in the mid-west.”

Keane has confirmed he wants up to seven pre-season games and added: “We are looking into the prospect of taking the players to a training camp as well.

“The players have a long, hard season in front of them and it's important that our preparation is right. We need them peaking for the start of the season, but it's also important we get through the summer with no real injury problems.”

Confirmed Town away friendlies are against Brentford on July 15, Southend on July 22 and Charlton on July 28.

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