Town tracking Czech starlet

WORLD Cup Under-20s silver medal winner Jan Simunek is being tracked by Ipswich Town.The Blues watched the 20-year-old Sparta Prague defender earlier this week as Jim Magilton looks to bring in a new centre-half.

By Derek Davis

WORLD Cup Under-20s silver medal winner Jan Simunek is being tracked by Ipswich Town.

The Blues watched the 20-year-old Sparta Prague defender earlier this week as Jim Magilton looks to bring in a new centre-half.

It was revealed on Monday that first-team coach Bryan Klug and chief scout Steve McCall had gone to watch a centre-half in the Czech Republic, and they saw Sparta Prague entertain Slovan Liberec in the first league game of their new season.


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Simunek is a team-mate of former West Ham defender Tomas Repka, who was surprisingly left out of Monday's game, with the 6ft 4in defender making just his fifth Sparta appearance. He won a silver medal in the FIFA Under-20s World Cup in Canada last month, in which Town's Jaime Peters played for the host nation.

Magilton said: “They went on Monday to look at a guy and are back now. It is something we may follow up. We are trying to bring in someone on loan.”

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Magilton is staying tight-lipped about potential targets, although he has dismissed reports linking him with West Brom's Darren Carter.

While Town have cover in midfield even with the loss of Gavin Williams for up to four months with medial ligament damage, but they are short at the back with Richard Naylor ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a toe injury.

Flexible and reliable Fabian Wilnis is the main man at the back in case of any more injuries but Magilton wants someone else, at least until Ian Miller, Michael Synnott or Tommy Smith develop further.

He said: “Competition for places is good although we are a player short at centre-half. Ian Miller was sent out on loan because we feel he is not quite ready for the Championship just yet and Synnott needs an injury-free season and to be playing games.

“Fabian has done an excellent job as cover but I would like to add another at the back.”

Outstanding prospect Tommy Smith signed a new three-year contract with the Blues before flying out to Jeju in Korea with the England Under-17s as they prepare for the World Championship group match against North Korea.

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