Town youngsters will get chance

JOE Royle's plans to field two teams against Peterborough in their opening friendly of the season could be scuppered by a leaner than usual squad, writes Derek Davis.

JOE Royle's plans to field two teams against Peterborough in their opening friendly of the season could be scuppered by a leaner than usual squad, writes Derek Davis.

But the lack of experienced players will give a crop of bright young prospects an opportunity to show the manager not too many new faces are required.

The Blues boss likes to give his players 45 minutes each in the first game back in pre-season but with just 19 left from his list of players at the end of last season and Jason de Vos added, that won't happen.

Royle will spend this week looking to bring in players he has identified as good additions to the squad but admits they are unlikely to be in place before the squad travels to Denmark next week.


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He said: "Things are happening but nothing is close enough just yet to bring them in before the weekend but things can change quickly. I like to give players just a half each when we start out but I may not have enough for that now. What it does mean is that the youngsters will get a chance to shine."

After Peterborough on Saturday, Ipswich take on Randers FC and Aab Aalborg in Denmark.

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It appears relegated Leicester City are favourites to land defender Chris Makin after he rejected a fresh offer from Ipswich Town last week.

It is understood Makin has been training with the Foxes in order to impress manager Mickey Adams and prove his fitness after a hip operation kept him out for the vast part of last season.

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce is also interested in Makin but he is down his shopping list and not included in their trip to Italy where a number of players, including Jordy Cruyff and Les Ferdinand, have been invited to train with them. The Wanderers boss is also keen on signing a Portuguese defender ahead of Makin.

Unless a replacement is found by Town then Matt Richards is likely to stay at left-back although he may get a run at left midfield as well this season. Scott Barron looked a very capable full-back last season and it will be no surprise to see him used a lot during pre-season.

Scott Mitchell can play right-back and in midfield while Antonio Murray is earmarked for a central role.

At the back Aidan Collins and Gerard Nash will look to push on with Ben Patten and Jerome Sobers pressing them.

Stuart Boardley is a wide man who has impressed and Daniel Flack has caught the eye, while it should be remembered Dean Bowditch only turned 18 last month.

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