Magilton named as new Town boss

JIM Magilton will today be unveiled as the new Ipswich Town manager, at a 10am press conference at Portman Road.

JIM Magilton will today be unveiled as the new Ipswich Town manager, at a 10am press conference at Portman Road, writes Derek Davis.

Magilton, who is understood to have secured a two-year contract, will have Bryan Klug as his No. 2, while the future of coaches Willie Donachie, Steve McCall and Andy Rhodes is unclear, although all are expected to be kept on in the short term.

The 37-year-old Irishman, nicknamed Magic, is still registered as a player at Portman Road and skippered the side last month in his farewell appearance against Derby County. He makes the massive leap from dressing room to gaffer a little less than four weeks after Joe Royle left by mutual consent.

After missing out on Tony Mowbray, Terry Butcher, Phil Parkinson, Colin Calderwood and Steve Tilson among others, the Blues settled on inexperienced Magilton after he persuaded the highly-respected coach Klug to work with him and be part of the interview process.

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The EADT exclusively revealed the Magilton/Klug partnership nine days ago, after they had impressed the full board and emerged as favourites for the post.

Among those who were interviewed but not among the final candidates, as the EADT revealed last Monday, were Ian Holloway, Mike Newell, Martin Allen, Mick McCarthy and Nigel Pearson.

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Klug, 45, whose two spells at Portman Road have made up 25 years of his footballing life already, is a UEFA Pro licence coach and has overseen the development of many Town players who have gone on to first-team and international football.

Klug also masterminded the Blues' FA Youth Cup success last year when they beat Southampton in a two-legged final and went out to eventual winners Liverpool this season.

His position as Academy director is expected to be filled by Tony Humes, who earlier this season was interviewed for the Bury manager's job.

Magilton has been at Portman Road for seven years after signing from Sheffield Wednesday and was part of the side that won the play-off final against Barnsley in 2000 and the team that finished fifth in the Premiership the following season and played in the UEFA Cup.

He was transfer-listed by George Burley and was part of the squad that was relegated in 2002. The former Northern Ireland international's Blues career was revitalised when Joe Royle succeeded Burley and made him skipper.

Magilton could not captain the side to promotion in the three-and-a-half years under Royle but now gets the chance as manager in his own right.

The Irishman held off the challenge from a late candidate who was interviewed on Friday and then flew home from holiday over the weekend and, along with Klug, had a meeting with David Sheepshanks last night.

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