Wabara told to hang up his boots

IPSWICH Town’s latest signing may be only 19, but already he’s been told to hang up his boots.

Manager Paul Jewell was left impressed with the Manchester City loanee’s brief cameo at the end of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Brighton, but joked that the right-back’s choice of yellow footwear might not go down too well among the Blues faithful considering their fierce rivalry with Norwich City.

“I’m happy to change them if he wants me to!” said Wabara, a polite teenager who speaks with a quiet and likeable confidence.

“I’m fully aware of the rivalry (with Norwich) and I’ve had a few tweets about the boots already.”

The England Under-20 international may have rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s best players at Manchester City, but Jewell has warned the youngster he has a fight on his hands to break into his in-form Championship line-up.

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“He (Jewell) has just told me to work hard,” said Wabara. “Actually he said it a bit more strongly than that! Honesty is the best policy though, I like to hear it straight and I like to know what my weaknesses are.

“I know Carlos (Edwards) is playing well at the moment but that will just make me raise my game. Football is all about competition.”

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Having been handed a three-year contract by Manchester City back in March and then come on as a substitute in their final day of the season 2-0 win at Bolton, a number of Championship clubs showed interest in taking Wabara on loan this summer.

A torn hamstring sustained on England duty at the Under-20 World Cup in August delayed a move though and, by the time he was fit again, Town had moved to the front of the queue thanks to an impressive run of results.

“I chose Ipswich because they’ve got a great manager, a great fan base and I think they’re destined to do big things this season,” said Wabara, who played 90 minutes in a 1-1 reserve team draw with Watford yesterday afternoon.

“It was my first game in seven weeks since my injury so it was definitely good to be back. I just want to show everyone what I can do.”

– Follow Town’s latest signing on Twitter @ReeceWabara.


Born: Quinton, Birmingham

DOB: December 28, 1991

– Started out Walsall’s School of Excellence

– Snapped up by Manchester City’s Academy aged 16

– Promoted to first team training the following year

– Handed a three-year deal in March this year

– Made his professional debut as a late sub in a 2-0 win at Bolton on the final day of last season

– Played for England at the Under-20 World Cup in Colombia in August

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