Woodbridge to face Town reserves

Ridgeons League Woodbridge Town, now under the management of Colwyn Rowe, the former Colchester United player, have an attractive friendly tonight against an Ipswich Town reserves squad at Notcutts Park, writes David Vincent.

Ridgeons League Woodbridge Town, now under the management of Colwyn Rowe, the former Colchester United player, have an attractive friendly tonight against an Ipswich Town reserves squad at Notcutts Park, writes David Vincent.

With the first team squad away in Sweden there is a chance for fans to spot some of the Ipswich stars of the future from the famous Academy ranks.

Town reserves manager Steve McCall will field another young side.

He said: "It will be similar to the line-up at Framlingham last week, a very young side, as we step up a level in the pre-season build-up.

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"We won't make as many substitutions though as we will give some of the lads a full 90 minutes.

"We are hoping to have Erdem Artun back for his first game for a long time and we will be trying to introduce Matt Robinson, as a subsitute, who has been working to regain fitness after a broken ankle.

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"We are a bit light in the striking department with Sam Morrow away with Northern Ireland. He won't be back until the end of next week."

Some of Town's first and second-year scholars featured in an under-18 friendly against a physical Tranmere Rovers on Saturday which ended in a 1-0 defeat.

Several of those, including the likes of Scott Barron, Adem Atay and strikers Craig Reid and Liam Craig are likely to be involved.

McCall said they would take another look at French midfielder Johan Preau, who played on Thursday and Saturday.

On Saturday he showed plenty of touches of class and some good passing despite being on the end of a series of heavy challenges from Tranmere.

Ipswich threatened through Liam Craig, and Daryll Knights, who hit the bar, while Tranmere scored when Scott Peat pushed an effort onto the bar only to see it drop onto a forward's head and he nodded home.

Tonight's kick-off is at 7.30pm and admission is £3.50 with no charge for children accompanied by a parent.

Woodbridge trained on Thursday and assistant manager Gary Barker said: "We are really looking forward to the Ipswich game.

"Training is going well and we have a few fresh faces already. We have got some good young players and a couple of experienced new signings as well. And we are talking with one or two more players over the weekend with a view to them joining us.

"Woodbridge struggled last season and we needed to expand the squad. Most of last year's squad have re-signed as well and we are pleased with how pre-season is going."

New signings include young centre-half Daniel Coleman, a former schoolboy with Colchester United, who has arrived from Ransomes, striker Aren Howell from Clacton Town, and Jamie Baker, Sam Bartholomew and Darius Laws from relegated Ipswich Wanderers.

And the squad against Ipswich is likely to include Jermaine Harewood, the former Ipswich Wanderers striker, who wants to join Woodbridge.

Harewood is being released by AFC Sudbury as he is not part of new manager Gary Harvey's team plans.

Barker added: "We have to two or three other experienced players in mind and we will be speaking to them over the weekend."

New Woodbridge manager Rowe is grateful to Ipswich for sending a team.

"I am very pleased they are playing us. It is good for our players to have the chance to face players of this quality and ability.

"And it is great for the club to have professional teams visiting. It is a chance to get a big crowd in and a good atmosphere and make a bit of money, which is always important."

Woodbridge Town have a full series of pre-season friendlies organised.

They entertain Old Newton on Saturday (kick-off 2pm), Histon on Saturday, August 2 (kick-off 3pm), and Bramford United on Monday, August 4 (kick-off 7.30pm), before travelling to Leiston on Saturday, August 9 (kick-off 3pm).

The Woodpeckers' opening Ridgeons League match of the season on Saturday, August 16 is a tasty one, at home to Wroxham, who will be determined to push AFC Sudbury hard in pursuit of the first league title under its new sponsors.

Woodbridge squad: Glyn Dixon, Mark Bailey, Ben Miller, Paul Ager, Steve Dearsley, Jamie Scales, Aren Howell, Gavin Crane, Danny Phillips, Sam Bartholomew, Jamie Baker, Donald George, Daniel George, James Buckle, Darius Laws and Leon Parnell.

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