Miller's a gem, says Magilton

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton last night lifted the lid on his shock swoop to sign Bury Town defender Ian Miller.The 22-year-old will become a Town player once a deal is thrashed out between...

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton last night lifted the lid on his shock swoop to sign Bury Town defender Ian Miller.

The 22-year-old will become a Town player once a deal is thrashed out between respective chairmen David Sheepshanks and Russell Ward, with a visit to Ram Meadow by the Ipswich first team likely to form part of the agreement.

Magilton explained the background to the transfer, the first between the clubs since Simon Milton's £5,000 switch in 1987.

He said: “We sent a reserve team over to Bury for a pre-season game and I was very impressed with Ian and the way he kept the likes of Billy Clarke and Danny Haynes pretty quiet.

“Steve McCall and Charlie Woods were also there and they agreed with me that Ian was worth a shout. We invited him in for training and his attitude was spot-on.

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“He's a defender first and foremost. He likes to defend, it's what he does and he's very good at it. He is also very quick and he's a bright lad with plenty of ambition to go far in the game.

“Ian has had a good football education up till now with Richard Wilkins, the Bury manager, doing a very good job on him.

“Now he's with us full-time he will get time spent on him. The coaching will hopefully make him better still and we feel we have a real gem in Ian.”

Miller, the Bury fans' player of the year in each of the last two seasons, was offered a professional contract through to the end of the season after impressing in reserve games against MK Dons and Stevenage Borough.

Meanwhile, Magilton is hoping that a trio of players - Fabian Wilnis, Gavin Williams and on-loan star Simon Walton - will all be given the green light to carry on playing after they underwent scans yesterday.

But the Town boss fears 26-year-old Williams might have to sit out a couple of games in order to fully recover from the groin problem that saw him withdrawn at half time at Birmingham on Saturday.

Magilton said: “Gavin hasn't been able to train a lot between games and we might not be able to get him through to the international break next month, when he could have had almost a fortnight to rest up.

“The scans for Fabian and Simon were more precautionary than anything else. I am confident they will both be available this weekend.”

Magilton has also admitted that he is continuing to monitor former Ipswich midfielder Tommy Miller's situation at Sunderland, where he is currently out of favour.

Ipswich were one of a number of clubs whose scouts saw Miller, 27, score his side's opening goal in a 4-1 win over Doncaster in a reserve friendly at the Stadium of Light on Monday.

Magilton confirmed: “Tommy is still a player who interests us. He is not in the first team at the moment and we will keep an eye on the situation. Something might happen in January, if not sooner.”

Southampton, managed by ex-Town boss George Burley, who paid Hartlepool £750,000 to take Miller to Portman Road in 2001, are also known to be interested.

Miller is currently reluctant to move as his wife is expecting twins. He is in the last year of a two-year contract with the Black Cats, signed in 2005 when he rejected Ipswich's offer of a new deal in favour of moving on.

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