Town fan Coe's dream comes true

DESPITE all its current wrongs, there is still romance in football.

DESPITE all its current wrongs, there is still romance in football, writes Elvin King.

Ask Newmarket Town skipper Darren Coe, who was in seventh heaven on Monday night when he achieved a lifetime ambition by pulling on an Ipswich Town shirt.

To be taken out of the humdrum of the Ridgeons League, and given a chance to show what he can do at professional level, is what dreams are made of.

And 25-year-old Coe is still pinching himself - and hoping that he did well enough against Fulham in a Premiership Reserve League match to earn another Town call.

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The central defender acclimatised himself well in a makeshift Ipswich back-line in a match that the Londoners won 2-0.

He said: “It was a lifetime ambition of mine fulfilled. I never thought the moment would come when I pulled on an Ipswich Town shirt.

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“I held a Portman Road season ticket for seven years and used to watch games from the North Stand whenever I could.

“When my Newmarket manager Chris Nunn telephoned last Friday, telling me to take Monday off work, I thought it might be a wind-up.”

Coe, a carpenter by trade, trained with Town on Monday morning, by which time the Fulham match had been switched from Needham Market to Portman Road.

“That was great news for me,” said Coe who, apart from a brief period with Histon, has been loyal to Newmarket.

“I had never played at Portman Road before, although I had hopes this season as Newmarket are through to the semi-final of the Suffolk Premier Cup.

“The Ipswich players made me very welcome in the morning when I was nervous. I was also nervous before the game but thought I came into my own in the second half.

“Hopefully, I will get another chance.”

Coe, who was booked in the 68th minute for a foul on Fulham striker Ismael Ehui, has another big date on Saturday when the Jockeys play Welwyn Garden City in the fourth round of the FA Vase.

And, with Ipswich playing West Ham at home on Tuesday in another reserve fixture, he has his fingers crossed for another call as Town have central defenders Aidan Collins and Gerard Nash out on loan.

Nunn and Newmarket chairman Alfie Collen both watched Coe on Monday, and Ipswich recruitment officer Malcolm Moore praised the West Suffolk club for their help.

“Reserve team manager Steve McCall asked if I had anyone we wanted to look at,” said Moore. “We have been keeping tabs on Darren for a year or so and opponents have supplemented the good opinion we had about him.

“Darren is dominant at Ridgeons League level and, perhaps, too good for that. On Monday, he was a credit to himself and to Newmarket and he did well.

“Darren has a great attitude and we will keep an eye on him. We are not shutting the door and he could be involved with us again in the future.”

Forget about the bungs controversy, the greed of some professionals and the financial problems that affect many Football League clubs.

Football is a wonderful game - just ask Darren Coe.

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