Parkin's Premiership ambition

Striker Sam Parkin became Joe Royle's second signing within 24 hours as Ipswich Town served notice of their intention to launch another promotion-chasing campaign in 2005/6, writes David Vincent.

Striker Sam Parkin became Joe Royle's second signing within 24 hours as Ipswich Town served notice of their intention to launch another promotion-chasing campaign in 2005/6, writes David Vincent.

Town won the race to sign the Swindon Town hitman and chairman David Sheepshanks hailed it as a real coup for the club.

Parkin has signed a four-year deal with Ipswich for an undisclosed fee, which is thought to add up to almost £500,000, with the fee paid in stages.

Scotland Futures striker Parkin, 24, who has hit more than 70 goals in three seasons for the Robins, said: "I aim to score the goals to further my own ambitions, and the club's, and repay Joe Royle's faith in me.

"It is a natural progression for me to come to a Championship club and have a go and I am confident in my own ability. I have joined a good team, with great players around me, top calibre players.

"Hopefully, I will continue in the same vein as I have done at Swindon.

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"It shows the manager has the courage to get in young British players from the lower leagues and give them an opportunity. That doesn't happen as often as it should."

Royle said: "Sam has a real talent. He can win a header but, more than anything, he can control the ball and keep the ball. He has a fantastic goalscoring record and has earned the right to step up to this division."

Watford twice bid for Parkin and Norwich were one of several clubs interested but he has chosen Ipswich instead.

Parkin said Royle had sold the new challenge to him. "Clubs came in for me before but I wanted to leave it to the summer and make the right decision.

"I am aware of the history and heritage of the club and as soon as I heard they were in for me they were top of my list.

"I am ready for the step up. After three years at Swindon, I am hungry for a new challenge.

"Joe Royle is spoken very highly of. As soon as I met the manager, I wanted to sign for him.

"I have decided to come to Ipswich for football reasons. It is a great step up for me but one I am sure I can handle.

"I am very impressed with the whole set-up, not only the stadium but the training facilities.

"This is a Premiership club and I want to help the manager in his aim to get there.

"I know Darren Currie and Kevin Horlock and met Nicky Forster yesterday. I am looking forward to meeting the rest of the players in two weeks' time. I am raring to go."

Town's new striker added: "I am confident in my ability, I hope the supporters will enjoy seeing me here and the goals will continue to come."

Sheepshanks, delaying his trip to see Tim Henman and Andy Murray at Wimbledon, said: "We are very pleased to welcome Sam here, He is a young player with a tremendous goalscoring record.

"I think the most important thing is we have secured two top strikers and, with Dean Bowditch, we are looking potent again up front.

"We are looking to bring in another player, and possibly more, before the start of the season."

Parkin remembered playing against Ipswich as a youth player and then coming on in a reserve game at Portman Road.

He qualifies for Scotland through mum Laura, who is from Dundee.

"I want to further my international ambitions. I am very proud of the Scottish side of the family.

"My mum is my biggest fan and she did a great deal to support me in my early football career.

"I look like an old-fashioned centre forward and I do like to attack crosses in the box. I have that build but there is more to my game.

"I also like to play with the ball on the floor and Ipswich are a great attacking side.

"Hopefully, I will soon have the opportunity to play for the manager. When I talked about football with him, he was one of the main reasons I made my decision."

Parkin already has a home in London so it will quite an easy move. As a youth team and reserve player at Chelsea, he never made the first team break through.

After loan spells at Millwall, Northampton, Oldham and Wycombe, he joined Swindon for £50,000 three seasons ago. He scored 67 goals in 124 league games for Swindon.

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