Memories of Ipswich Town’s recent pre-season tours in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
Ipswich Town take on League of Ireland side Drogheda United on Saturday, keeping up with the recent tradition of playing pre-season games in the Republic of Ireland.
The Blues have also visited Northern Ireland in recent years, under former manager Jim Magilton, who was an established international in the 1990s and 2000s.
Since Mick McCarthy has been at Town, the Blues have almost always headed to his favoured Carton House Hotel for a week of preparation and the odd game or two against a local team.
Last year, goals from Freddie Sears and Brett Pitman gave Ipswich a 2-1 win against Shelbourne, who currently play in the League of Ireland First Division.
Infact Shelbourne have offered opposition for Town every year since 2013.
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In 2015, Pitman scored twice, whilst Alex Henshall, Cole Skuse, Jay Tabb and Darren Ambrose also struck for Town in a routine 6-0 victory.
The year before, four players got their name on the scoresheet as the Blues won 4-0 – Darren McQueen, Paul Anderson, Jack Marriott and Tyrone Mings netting.
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In 2013, meanwhile, Daryl Murphy scored both goals for Ipswich in a 2-0 win.
Back in 2009, a Connor Wickham goal wasn’t enough as a Blues team, managed by Roy Keane, lost 2-1 to Finn Harps, who play in County Donegal.
Later on during the tour, Town won 3-0 at Waterford, Kevin Lisbie and Owen Garvan (two) on the scoresheet, but lost 2-0 at Cork City.
In 2008, Northern Ireland side Cliftonville hosted the Blues but were no match as the visitors ran out 7-0 winners, thanks to Alan Quinn (two), Alan Lee, Danny Haynes, David Wright, Gary Roberts and Jaime Peters.
A trip to Donegal Celtic that same pre-season yielded a 4-1 win, Quinn again scoring twice and being joined on the scoresheet by Owen Garvan and an own goal, before Alan Lee, Gary Roberts and Pablo Counago were on target in a 3-1 win at Glentoran.
Eleven years ago, Nicky Forster and Sito gave Ipswich a 2-0 win at Galway.
In 2001-02 meanwhile, Marcus Stewart and Richard Naylor scored in a 2-0 win for George Burley’s team at Bray Wanderers. That same summer, Jermaine Wright, Stewart and Naylor with a hat-trick handed Ipswich an easy 5-0 win against Dublin City.