Relaunching Community Trust could make Ipswich Town ‘unstoppable’, says Lambert
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert says relaunching the club’s Community Trust is one of the most important decisions made by owner Marcus Evans.
A partnership with the independently run ITFC Charitable Trust ended in 2013, with the club focusing on its own projects and the Trust becoming 'Inspire Suffolk'.
Since taking over as manager last November, Lambert has spoken a lot about the club reconnecting with the community, enthusing a new generation of fans and harnessing the 'power' of this being a one team town.
"I still don't get why that decision was made," said the Blues boss. "It was an appalling decision because you can't have a county as big as this and not have supporters in Ipswich jerseys and kids coming to games. You can't lose a generation of kids.
"I think getting the Trust back is going to be one of the most important decisions Marcus has made, without a doubt."
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Lambert, along with first-team players Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden, were mobbed at the launch event at Britannia Primary School yesterday.
"As manager of the club, staff of the club and players of the club you go out there and you make sure those kids come to the games and through to the academy where they can maybe become a household name themselves in years to come," said Lambert.
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"The way the club's going at the moment I'm seeing more and more blue jerseys around the town, which is great, and if that snowballs this can become unstoppable."
Lee O'Neill, the club's general manager of football operations and a former teacher himself, said: "Really being at the heart of the community is something that the club has always been a part of, but maybe in recent years that hasn't been as much of a focus and around Christmas we decided it was a big area where we could make improvements.
"I think there was a lack of Ipswich Town identity in the town, but walking through Christchurch Park this summer I did see a lot more Ipswich Town shirts."
The new Community Trust, which is a charity-based organisation run on self-raised funds and grants, will be led by former Peterborough academy player Jason Curtis, along with his team of Mike Phillips, Harry Watts and Alex Brett.
"As a Trust we will be looking to build a stronger, healthier and more active community using the power of Ipswich Town Football Club which is the heartbeat of Suffolk and surrounding areas," said Curtis.
Former Town skippers Matt Holland and Carlos Edwards, current captain Luke Chambers and ex-Blue, Darren Ambrose, have all expressed an interest in getting involved in the Trust.