Naylor's new three-year deal
RICHARD Naylor has been handed a new three-year contract by Ipswich Town.The club's longest-serving player has agreed the new deal, which will keep him at Portman Road until 2009.
By Derek Davis
RICHARD Naylor has been handed a new three-year contract by Ipswich Town.
The club's longest-serving player has agreed the new deal, which will keep him at Portman Road until 2009.
Apart from loan spells at Millwall and Barnsley, the 28-year-old has spent his entire 10-year professional career at Town and has been granted a testimonial game next summer.
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The versatile Blues warhorse did not need long to consider the offer from Joe Royle, who revitalised Naylor's career.
Naylor said: “I was obviously really pleased to be offered a new deal and it didn't take me long to make my mind up that I wanted to sign it.
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“I'm in the last year of my current deal and I could have waited until I became a free agent next summer before making a decision.
“That can work for you, or against you but I always wanted to stay here and when the gaffer said he wanted me here for another three years then my mind was made up straightaway.”
Naylor was a budding young defender when he first arrived at Portman Road from Yorkshire but he was switched to attack in the youth team where he remained until Royle arrived three years ago.
Injuries blighted his career but he battled through and his perseverance has paid dividends with a long-term deal.
Naylor said: “I've had shorter-term contacts over the last few years but now I have proved my fitness, shown that I can maintain a decent level of performance and established myself as a defender, this contract is perhaps reward for that.
“I feel I am playing the best football of my career at the moment and if I can maintain the level of performance that warrants a place in the side then maybe I will get the chance to see out my playing days here.
“If that happens I'd be delighted because I love playing for this club.”