ITFC Open Day: Fans treated to a day of football and fun in the sun

Long queues at Portman Road for the official Open Day of 2018 Picture: ROSS HALLS

Long queues at Portman Road for the official Open Day of 2018 Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Fans and families queued from 8am in the early moring sunshine to be the first into Portman Road for Ipswich town’s Open Day - a unique opportunity to get signatures, selfies and sneak peeks at training before the start of the season.

The club had more than 5,000 visitors last year and the long lines outside the club this morning showed the faith the fans have in the new-look team, with Chelsea loanee Trevor Chalobah and new arrival from Bristol Rovers, Ellis Harrison set to join the action at today’s open training session.

Blues fan Kiaran Overton, 9 1/2 years old, shows off his signature collection ahead of Ipswich Town'

Blues fan Kiaran Overton, 9 1/2 years old, shows off his signature collection ahead of Ipswich Town's Open Day. Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: Archant

Fans were also feverish to meet the new manager, Paul Hurst, as they streamed into the stadium.

Jack Hatherall and last year's Open Day autograph page. He's been at the stadium since 8.15am waitin

Jack Hatherall and last year's Open Day autograph page. He's been at the stadium since 8.15am waiting to meet the players today. Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: Archant

Tom Hatherall and his son Jack have travelled from Trimley St Mary to add to their Ipswich Town signature book.

Joe, Kiaran and David Overton, three generations of Ipswich fans at the club's Open Day. Picture: JA

Joe, Kiaran and David Overton, three generations of Ipswich fans at the club's Open Day. Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: Archant

Mr Hatherall said: “We’ve been coming to these days for the last four years. Last year we were second in the queue and we’ve been here since 8:15am today.

Tom and Jack Hatherall Waiting for a chance to see some Ipswich players og a signature and a photogr

Tom and Jack Hatherall Waiting for a chance to see some Ipswich players og a signature and a photograph. Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: Archant


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“We’re really hoping to meet the manager today, I think it’s great to see him signing some younger players.”

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

David, Joe and Kiaran Overton, 69, 45 and 9 1/2 respectively, came from Needham Market and have visited Portman Road for the last five open days.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

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David said: “It’s a great day - we’re looking forward to seeing some of the new signings.”

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

“Kiaran has his autograph book and now there’s some more names to go in there.”

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Visitors had an hour to get photographs with their favourite players and any memorabilia signed, before getting to check out all the activities going on in the fan zone.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Iain Finch, co-founder of Boots2Africa, was collecting spare football boots from Town fans.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

He said: “We’ve got another 10 pairs of boots today, which takes us to over 350 for Ipswich town fans alone.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

“It may not sound like much, but it’s 10 more pairs yesterday and I think that’s great.”

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk FA were also in attendance and invited their Wildcat football schools, clubs dedicated to girls football to take part in a mini football festival for fans to watch.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Darren Scoulding, senior football development officer, said: “The beauty of it was that for the teams it was the first time they have played in a festival.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

“Hopefully some girls today will join clubs and teams in the area.”

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture:

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst smiles as the Ipswich Town Open Day Training Session starts Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Wildcats from Beccles, Felixstowe and Ransomes participated, as well as the Ipswich Exiles, as a crowd of onlookers enjoyed the day.

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A full squad training session pulled fans into the stands, excited to see the potential stars of the upcoming Championship season, which starts against Blackburn at Portman Road on Saturday, 4 August.

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Club mascots Bluey and Crazee ended the training session with a foot race, cheered on by the crowds.

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Come back later to see our gallery of photos.

Cheer leaders entertained the crowds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Cheer leaders entertained the crowds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Kyle Osman and Callum McWilliams having fun at Portman Road Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Kyle Osman and Callum McWilliams having fun at Portman Road Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Cheer leaders entertained the crowds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Cheer leaders entertained the crowds Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Kyle Osman and Callum McWilliams having fun at Portman Road Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Kyle Osman and Callum McWilliams having fun at Portman Road Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Harley Green and D'ondre Etheridge Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Harley Green and D'ondre Etheridge Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Players from Ipswich Town tarining on the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Harley Green and D'ondre Etheridge Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Harley Green and D'ondre Etheridge Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Harvey Milld, Havana and Fenton Smith at the the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Harvey Milld, Havana and Fenton Smith at the the open day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Jamie and Oliver Bullock enjoying the day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jamie and Oliver Bullock enjoying the day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Blake and Jake in the stands Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Blake and Jake in the stands Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Harry with Cole Skuse Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Harry with Cole Skuse Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Cole Skuse signing autographs Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Cole Skuse signing autographs Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Fans got the opportunity to get their favourite players autograph Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fans got the opportunity to get their favourite players autograph Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Fans got the opportunity to get their favourite players autograph Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fans got the opportunity to get their favourite players autograph Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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