The new football season is approaching with ever-increasing rapidity, and although England and the World Cup is probably uppermost in our minds just now, Ipswich Town are back in training so what can we expect from the season ahead?
We have a lot to look forward to I think. There are those of us who probably think hiring a manager unproven at this level is a big risk but I believe it is a calculated one, and the new season ahead should promise us much more excitement than trepidation.
David McGoldrick has packed his bags and left and without wanting to sound too harsh, even though he has passed his sell-by date, it is probably for the best. Mustapha Carayol is unlikely to return to the fold too, as new boss Paul Hurst has his own players in mind when it comes to wingers flying down the flanks.
I am also enthused by the way Hurst is very much his own man. He was not impressed with the yearly Irish football pilgrimage and instead wants to take his players to Spain for a few days to freshen the body and the soul. He has confirmed that Chelsea youngster Trevoh Chalobah is set become his first Blues signing on a season-long loan and that deal could be completed before the end of the day and certainly before the weekend.
Another player that our manager has his eyes firmly fixes on is Blackpool central defender Curtis Tilt, and the 26-year-old is attracting a lot of interest and not just from Ipswich Town. Reading, Portsmouth, QPR and Blackburn Rovers are all looking closely at him too, so the competition is fierce for a player who not so long ago was plying his trade with non-league sides Halesowen Town, Hednesford Town, AFC Telford Town.
The players returned to pre-season training today with the obvious exceptions of Jonas Knudsen and Bartosz Bialkowski who are on World Cup duty. In the case of our Polish keeper, however, now they have been eliminated from the competition, it will not be long before he is back at Portman Road!
Other players who were noticeable by their absence were Emyr Huws, Dean Gerken, Danny Rowe and perhaps more worrying of all, Teddy Bishop as they continue with their rehabilitation from recent surgery.
I remain optimistic about the season that lies ahead. I am not expecting miracles but if Hurst can provide supporters with some entertaining football and plenty of goals, then this would be a step in the right direction.
FW – editor of Vital Ipswich