Reuser: Ipswich Town’s loan players will be just as motivated

Martijn Reuser celebrates his Play-Off Final goal against Barnsley in 2000.

Martijn Reuser celebrates his Play-Off Final goal against Barnsley in 2000. - Credit: PROFESSIONAL SPORT

Martijn Reuser, one of Ipswich Town’s promotion heroes of 2000, insists the club’s current loan players will be just as motivated as the rest of the squad.

The Dutch winger arrived at the Blues in a temporary switch from Ajax in March that year and scored four goals in 11 games – including memorable extra-time clinchers in the play-offs against Bolton and Barnsley – as George Burley’s side finally secured their place in the top-flight following several near misses.

Reuser, who was signed for £1m that summer, therefore feels that the likes of Richard Chaplow, Chris Wood, Luke Varney, Jonny Williams and Zeki Fryers will all be feeling very much part of the club heading into the final five matches.

With Mick McCarthy’s men placed eighth in the Championship table, three points adrift of the play-off spots heading into back-to-back home games against Blackpool and Cardiff, the 40-year-old said: “I came not really knowing too much about Ipswich, only that there had been strong Dutch connections in the past and that they were pushing for promotion into the top division.

“I had 100 per cent motivation at that time. I’d played for the Dutch national side so I knew I had really good abilities and the quality to perform going into a lower league in England. For me it was just an opportunity to show my abilities and a chance to be in the spotlight having dropped into Ajax’s reserves.

“Some guys, they don’t feel great about that sort of uncertainty but for me it was extra motivation to do well. I knew that if Ipswich didn’t go up then I would be going back to Ajax. Either way I knew I needed to impress and show people what I knew I was capable of.”

Having played his part in Ipswich’s surprise fifth-place Premier League finish in 2000/01, Reuser suffered injuries following the club’s damaging relegation of 2002 and was eventually moved on by Joe Royle in 2004.

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Now the Under-15 coach for the Dutch national side and top-flight club NAC Breda, he added: “I always hope that Ipswich can do well because that was the best period of my career. 13 years is a long time out of the top division for a club like Ipswich. Did I expect that to be the case when they were relegated? In a way, yes. In a way, no. The wages had to drop significantly and you could see it was not going to be easy to go back up.

“I have my fingers crossed for them now though and would try to get the play-off games if they made it.”

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