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Club News

MARK 'S PROGRAMME NOTES | FLEETWOOD TOWN

23 October 2021

An update from the CEO ahead of today's game

Good afternoon and welcome to today’s League One encounter against Fleetwood Town. I’m delighted to welcome the players, staff, directors and supporters from Highbury Stadium. As ever, this will be a tough encounter to look forward to.

Since I wrote my last programme notes, we’ve had a busy few weeks both on and off the football pitch. On the pitch, we started out with a tough 2-1 home win against Shrewsbury. During that game, Shrewsbury player Ryan Bowman came off with a heart issue. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Ryan a speedy recovery and thank all of the medical staff in their fantastic professionalism in ensuring his best wellbeing.

We then moved onto Cambridge and I have to say that, yet again, I was blown away by the amazing support we took. Just over 2,500 travelling Town fans was just incredible. Like all of you, at 2-0 up I thought we had the game in the bag but this is a tough league and teams will never simply lie down. We have to learn from that. At the end of the day, it was another point on the board.

We then moved onto an amazing night at Fratton Park. Our players and staff would have been very disappointed at the end of the Cambridge game but to respond so positively just over 72 hours later was testament to their physical and mental strength. I was delighted to see Paul Cook use the depth of his squad and it was nice to welcome Sone Aluko, Toto Nsiala and Christian Walton back into the starting line-up over the last few games. What a result, what a night and what an outstanding turnout from our 1,200+ supporters yet again but we now move onto Fleetwood. This league is relentless and we have to be up for the task. We’ve set our standards again at Portsmouth on Tuesday night but they need to be repeated today.

Off the pitch, you will have seen that we’ve made a handful of announcements regarding our Community Trust. I’m delighted to welcome back Club legend Matty Holland, who has formally joined the board of trustees, as well as men’s and women’s first-team players, Conor Chaplin and Natasha Thomas. Matty will bring a wealth of football and Ipswich Town knowledge to the Community Trust and I look forward to working with him moving forward. Both Natasha and Conor have agreed to join the Trust in what is a groundbreaking move. If we are not the first, then we are certainly one of the first to put current first-team players from both of the men’s and women’s teams formally onto the board of trustees. This will allow us to drive the community agenda into both of our men’s and women’s teams, ensuring that all of our players fully understand the responsibilities they have in regards to engaging and working with our local community – this is so important. There will be further announcements regarding our Community Trust in future weeks as we continue to add to our board of trustees and build on our community work.

Without wishing to be repetitive, this is an extremely important game at Portman Road today. Your support has been incredible and continues to amaze me, particularly with the amount of fans who travel with us every time we are on the road. I’d ask you, therefore, to get behind the team today, create an amazing atmosphere and drive the boys onto a win.

Enjoy the game,

Mark Ashton

Group Community Trust.JPG


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