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FANS' FORUM | FIVE KEY TOPICS

30 March 2022

Season tickets, Kieran's future, Town Women, pre-season and summer signings all discussed

The third streamed Fans' Forum of the season took place on Tuesday evening at Portman Road.

Town CEO Mark Ashton, manager Kieran McKenna and Director of Performance Andy Rolls made up the panel to take questions from supporters in attendance and those sent in via the Club's official social media accounts.

A number of topics were discussed, with the Blues since confirming the appointment of a new Head of Recruitment - Sam Williams.

Below are five key talking points from the evening:

Season ticket sales

Mark provided an update on season tickets for the 2022/23 campaign after they went on sale earlier this week.

"Season tickets went on sale on Monday," said Town's CEO.

"With just over 36 hours gone, we’ve sold over 2,000.

"What’s really interesting is that within the 2,000 or so we’d sold within the first day and a half, 41% of them were new season ticket sales. 

"I think that bodes very well."

Full details for 2022/23 season tickets are available here.

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Kieran's long-term future

Kieran was asked whether he could see himself remaining at the Club for a lengthy period of time given his impressive start to life at Portman Road and ambitions to work at the top level.

He said: "I wouldn't be at the Club if I didn't think it could match my ambition. I've moved here from the biggest football club in the world, a football club that I grew up supporting. I wouldn't have made the step to just any football club. I wanted to go somewhere where there was a project and where I could develop something over a good period of time.

"This is the type of project I was waiting for. We all know it's going to be a long journey and I'm here for that journey.

"I've worked at the highest levels, I feel confident there and it's somewhere I want to get to again. I want to do that with Ipswich Town. It's certainly where all my concentration will be.

"My family have done a fair bit of travelling up and down from Manchester, as have I. We're looking forward to getting moved down in the near future, to get a house, to get the kids in school and settle in the area. I'm already enjoying the Suffolk sunshine and the Suffolk hospitality.

"I've told my wife Louise that this could be it - we might not end up moving again! Who knows?"

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Town Women

Mark was asked about the potential of ITFC Women, who currently sit top of the league, and whether the Tractor Girls could play at Portman Road in the future.

"We'll take it step by step. I think it's really harsh that they could end up winning this league and still not get promoted.

"We've filled in forms about how we would operate if we were to get promoted to the [Women's] Championship, so that's in hand. I think, for now, they will continue to play at Felixstowe. Once we have a new pitch here that can sustain more games then they will play some, but not all, games here.

"That gives us an opportunity to look at one or two 'double-headers' with a women's game coming straight after a men's game.

"They’ve done us so proud this season. Myself and some of the players were at the [West Ham] FA Cup game the other week and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Joe [Sheehan] spends time with Kieran, he watches training and learns from him. They’re an integral part of the Football Club and hopefully they will go on this journey with us. 

"What I really like about what Joe has done with the team is that his players and staff are so tight knit. They’ve come up as a group all the way through the age groups together. What’s really important, regardless of what division the women’s team are in, is that we have a development pathway for young girls and young women in the Ipswich and Suffolk community." 

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Pre-season plans

Andy was asked about a provisional pre-season schedule, with Town's Director of Performance confirming that it will take place entirely within Britain this year.

With the possibility of a play-off campaign to factor in, Andy said: "This pre-season has been quite difficult to plan because we don't know when the season is ending. 

"We were desperate to go to Austria. I know the manager likes going to the mountains and we looked extensively at that, but with the way the world is with things like Covid and Ukraine, the three of us [Andy, Kieran and Mark] decided it was best to stay in Britain this year. 

"We have a few different options and again, it will depend on when we finish this season. We will have a week away somewhere and the games programme is coming together, too."

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Summer transfer window

Kieran was asked about his hopes for the summer transfer window and where he would like to strengthen the squad.

He said: "We feel we're in a pretty good place, but for sure we have to improve the squad.

"My first impression was that the squad possibly needed to lose a bit of depth but add a little bit of quality. That was the main focus in January so now it's about taking that to another level. 

"I have a clear profile on the type of players I would like. We need a balanced squad of different types and ages, but primarily I want the team to be built around a young, hungry, technical and athletic group of players who have a real passion to play for this football club. 

"Of course, as you’re building a squad, you also need that mix of experienced players to set a good example and who have been through the different levels of football. 

"We’re quite the way through the process of having the players that we like. That's not just recruiting players that we want from the outside but also developing those within the Club. We have the positions that we’re going to target in the summer and we’re in the process of making sure we can some good business done. We also want to get it done as early as possible so that we can have a good full pre-season with the majority of the group."

Watch Tuesday's Fans' Forum in full below.

 


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