Ticket and contracts boost for Blues

IPSWICH Town were handed a double boost on Friday ahead of the new Nationwide League season.

IPSWICH Town were handed a double boost on Friday ahead of the new Nationwide League season, writes Nick Garnham.

Rising stars Darren Bent and Matt Richards have agreed to sign the new, improved contracts offered to them by the club earlier this week. And the club also revealed last night that season-ticket sales have now passed the 16,000 mark.

Striker Bent, 19, and 18-year-old left-back Richards are two players that Ipswich are anxious to keep as they look to rebuild the team for a second season in Division One. Bent has been the subject of enquiries from Newcastle United and Southampton have expressed an interest in both players.

The new deals will be signed once Bent, who scored his first goal for England Under-21s against Serbia and Montenegro on Monday night, returns from international duty.


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With captain Matt Holland poised to join Premiership new boys Portsmouth after Ipswich agreed a £750,000 fee for his signature, securing Bent and Richards on improved contracts will be greeted with a sigh of relief in the corridors of Portman Road and among the fans.

Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks said last night: “I hope people will be encouraged by Darren Bent and Matt Richards signing new contracts in the next few days. It is a very positive statement from us about our intentions for the future.

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“They are both players that we all feel have a very big future at Ipswich Town Football Club, and Joe Royle has already this week made it clear that he wants to see them both in his starting line-up for the first game of the season and I echo that sentiment.”

News that more than 16,000 season tickets have now been sold is also a major boost to the club who only came out of administration a week ago yesterday.

They were given the green light to resume trading on Wednesday and wasted no time in announcing the arrival of 30-year-old Guinea international defender Drissa Diallo, who was at Burnley last season, on a free transfer.

Sheepshanks said: “I'd like to thank all the fans who have renewed their season tickets or applied perhaps for the first time.

“They are showing their faith and belief in this club and what we all believe Joe Royle can achieve next season.

“If ever a set of fans deserve reward for their loyalty then it is Ipswich Town fans and I really hope we can provide it for them in the coming season.”

nick.garnham@eadt.co.uk

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