Town look to youth

YOUTH will be given its head as Ipswich Town start their pre-season campaign at Cambridge United tomorrow, writes Derek Davis. The Blues are likely to field almost two full teams at the Abbey Stadium for long-serving physio Ian Darler's testimonial, with each getting 45 minutes.

YOUTH will be given its head as Ipswich Town start their pre-season campaign at Cambridge United tomorrow, writes Derek Davis.

The Blues are likely to field almost two full teams at the Abbey Stadium for long-serving physio Ian Darler's testimonial, with each getting 45 minutes.

Travelling Town fans will get their first glimpse of new signings Nicky Forster and Sam Parkin, while many of the FA Youth Cup-winning side will also be on show, along with Dean McDonald and the remainder of last year's first-team squad.

Town assistant manager Willie Donachie will take charge of the team, along with Steve McCall, as manager Joe Royle recovers from knee surgery.


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Owen Garvan is being tipped to make his senior debut in midfield this season, while defender Aidan Collins will also hope to push on after injuries set back his progress last season.

The starting Blues' side will be numbered one to 11, with squad numbers not due out until at least the Football League's Thursday deadline.

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The U's, who suffered relegation and went into administration at the end of last season, used 28 players in their win at Mildenhall on Saturday and caretaker-manager Rob Newman is expected to field a number of triallists again.

Meanwhile, Clive Clarke has sent a clear 'come and get me' message to interested parties after telling Stoke City he wants to leave - but it is highly unlikely that he will join Ipswich

The Irishman made an unequivocal plea to new Potters boss Johan Boskamp to be released and vowed he would not sign a new deal at the Britannia Stadium.

The 25-year-old said: “I'm aware of interest from other clubs and, if they give me the chance to advance my career, I'd like to talk to them to see if it would be the best thing for me.

“I want to push on and get into the Irish squad. If I got a move to a club with a higher profile and I can have a good season, maybe it would help my international career. More importantly, I need a new challenge to bring out the best in me.”

The Blues would face competition from Premiership outfits West Ham and Sunderland for the Republic of Ireland international, who would cost in the region of £500,000.

That would appear to rule out a move by Town, although Royle is still looking for a left-back.

He said: “I don't know where that one's come from. He will cost a fee so that virtually rules us out.

“We've spent money to bring Sam Parkin in and we can't do it for anyone else.”

Royle also denied that out-of contract Richard Edghill was a target, as he sees him as more of a right-sided defender.

n Town's pre-season opponents Rangers have completed the signing of attacking midfielder Dany N'Guessan from Auxerre.

The 17-year-old has agreed a two-year deal with the Ibrox club, who saw off competition from Valencia, Marseilles, Bordeaux and Manchester City for his signature.

The midfielder is hoping to be in the Scottish champions' squad to face the Blues at Portman Road next Tuesday.

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