Luke Woolfenden: 'It's like night and day, and I'm loving it'
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Luke Woolfenden admits life at Portman Road right now is like 'night and day' from last season.
The 22-year-old Ipswich-born centre-half has started the last three pre-season games for the Blues, against Dartford, Crystal Palace and Colchester United, Paul Cook showing faith in the talented 6ft. 4in. defender.
Woolfenden admits he's loving it.
"It's all a lot different to how it was last year," he said, after being asked about life at Portman Road this pre-season, after Town's entertaining 3-3 draw with Colchester last night.
"It's like night and day, and I'm loving it. The players we have brought in are really good players. We have a style of play we are going to stick with throughout the season and I'm really looking forward to it getting started."
In a summer cull of players leaving Portman Road, academy graduate Woolfenden is still very much part of the scene, Cook clearly seeing much in the former East Bergholt School pupil.
"I listen to Elton John's song, what is it? 'I'm Still Standing', most days," he says, as he laughs and gives a quick line of the chorus!
"But no, to be fair it's all so much better at the ground now.
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"I had a chat with the gaffer at the end of last season and he said he wants to work with me pre-season and throughout the season.
"Last year I had it in my head to get into the team and stay there. I have never thought about going anywhere else, just stay here."
So, with Town already being tipped by many as favourites to go up this campaign, how does Woolfenden view that type of pressure?
"Playing for Ipswich you are going to have pressure," he said.
"You've seen tonight, no disrespect to Colchester but they were playing out of their skins because it's Ipswich Town and they wanted to get one over us. It will be the same for all teams in League One.
"But the gaffer has signed players he knows can deal with that type of pressure playing for Ipswich."
Town and Woolfenden finish their pre-season with a home clash with Millwall this Saturday, with new signings George Edmondson and Conor Chaplin likely to feature, as well as Lee Evans who has been nursing 'a niggle'.
Then it's the build-up to the opening clash of the League One season on August 7, when Morecambe visit Portman Road.