Wickham handed number nine Ipswich shirt

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane has confirmed his belief in striker Connor Wickham by handing the 17-year-old the number nine shirt for the coming Championship season.

Only Lee Martin of the eight players Keane has made available for transfer feature in Town’s one to 11 squad numbers for 2010/11.

Wickham has taken over the number nine shirt from Pablo Counago, while Alex Bruce and Owen Garvan have lost their five and seven shirts respectively.

Jaime Peters is expected to fill the right back role and he has been given the two shirt after wearing 12, while Shane O’Connor, who signed a new two-year-deal last week, is the new number three.

Central defenders Gareth McAuley and Damien Delaney will pull on the number four and five shirts respectively while in midfield Carlos Edwards has number seven and skipper Jon Walters takes over the 10 shirt from David Norris.

Luca Civelli drops down from ‘unlucky’ 13 to 26 while striker Kevin Lisbie’s status at the club is recognised by being given the number 33 shirt, which sees him ‘behind’ last season’s final year scholars who were allocated one-year contracts this term.

Untried youngster Luke Hyam gains a higher seniority number than the likes of Bruce, Tommy Smith and Colin Healy.

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Keane was true to his word when he selected his squad one to 11 to start Tuesday’s 9-1 victory over Ridgeons League Newmarket Town with the exception of the rested Wickham for fellow striker Tamas Priskin.

He made 10 changes at the interval with Martin the only player to start both halves.

It is bound to be a big season for Wickham, who is being eased back into the new season having helped England win the European Under-17 championship last May.

Keane’s theory is that his players are good enough if they are old enough and he will also be keeping a close eye on the progress of his younger players in reserve games and training and will not be afraid to give them their head.

Ipswich Town squad for the 2010/11 season: 1. Brian Murphy, 2. Jaime Peters, 3. Shane O’Connor, 4. Gareth McAuley, 5. Damien Delaney, 6. Grant Leadbitter, 7. Carlos Edwards, 8. David Norris, 9. Connor Wickham, 10. Jon Walters, 11. Lee Martin, 12. Arran Lee-Barrett, 13. Ian McLoughlin, 14. Jon Stead, 15. Alan Quinn, 16. Tamas Priskin, 17. Owen Garvan, 18. Pablo Counago, 19. Luke Hyam, 20. Tommy Smith, 21. Alex Bruce, 22. Troy Brown, 23. Tom Eastman, 24. Colin Healy, 25. Billy Clark, 26. Luciano Civelli, 27. Reggie Lambe, 28. Ronan Murray, 29. Jack Ainsley, 30. Seb Dunbar, 31. David Cawley, 32. Jamie Griffith, 33. Kevin Lisbie.

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