Wanderers to host Town games

IPSWICH TOWN: The Blues are to definitely use the facilities of Ridgeons League club Ipswich Wanderers for the coming season.

Alan Ferguson, the head groundsman at Portman Road, has been supervising pitch improvements at Wanderers’ headquarters at Humber Doucy Lane, which is adjacent to Ipswich’s training ground at Playford Road.

Town are expected to use Wanderers ground for reserve team games towards the end of the season with the Football League now sanctioning that member clubs can use the grounds of clubs down the pyramid chain for second XI matches.

For the majority of the season, Ipswich will use either Portman Road or Playford Road for their Combination games with afternoon kick-offs expected to continue for home matches.

It is expected that Wanderers’ floodlights will be strengthened from their current 120lux to around 180lux and that Town will use the ground for evening academy use; trial matches etc.

Ipswich’s Under-18 Saturday lunchtime home games are set to continue to be played at Playford Road.

The Pink concert that attracted over 25,000 fans to Portman Road on Tuesday has caused no problems for the Town ground staff while the training ground pitches are looking in good shape despite the need for heavy watering.

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Ipswich have a clean bill of health in their first team squad although Luca Civelli, Damien Delaney and Jon Stead entered pre-season on the back of suffering major injuries.

Ipswich have their first game on Tuesday when they visit Ridgeons League Newmarket Town with manager Roy Keane expected to use a number of senior players in matches this summer against non-league teams.

While Town players are being put though their paces, former Blues coach Steve Foley finds himself in the unusual position of not being involved in pre-season activities.

He had verbally agreed to join Tampa Bay Rowdies as assistant to manager Paul Dalglish, but when the contract arrived at Foley’s Lawford home it was not as he expected.

“It was not quite as I agreed when I was over in the States,” said Foley.

“The ball is back in their court, and I need more information before I travel half way around the world to work.

“Paul has been regularly on the telephone and is keen for me to go over, and it might still happen.

“But if it doesn’t I have no other irons in the fire at the moment.”

Foley was told at the end of last season that he could leave Ipswich having been recruited as technical skills coach by previous manager Jim Magilton in the summer of 2006.

Since leaving school, Foley, 57, has been continually involved in professional football as a player, coach and caretaker manager at Colchester United and as a coach at Norwich City before joining Town. In-between he had a short spell at Watford.

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