Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 15°C

Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 7 Magazine Offer With Jimmy Bullard and Tristan Nydam

‘I can’t put into words what I feel about the club’ – Couñago issues heartfelt message to Town fans after hanging up boots

PUBLISHED: 09:06 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:06 14 June 2018

Pabo Counago scored 54 goals in 214 appearances for Ipswich Town. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Pabo Counago scored 54 goals in 214 appearances for Ipswich Town. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Archant

Former Ipswich Town fans’ favourite Pablo Couñago has issued a heartfelt message to Blues fans after hanging up his boots and hopes that one day a ‘special relationship’ can be renewed.

Counago celebrates scoring against Bristol City at Portman Road in 2008. Photo: Archant Counago celebrates scoring against Bristol City at Portman Road in 2008. Photo: Archant

The silky Spanish striker scored 54 goals in 214 appearances for Town during two spells between 2001 and 2011. He then went on to play for clubs in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Finland before spending the last few years playing in the lower leagues of his homeland – most recently Club Deportivo Choco in his hometown of Redondela, just north of Portugal, in the Spanish fourth-tier.

MORE: ‘A twinkle in the eye that could solidify to steel’ – Stuart Watson’s verdict on Paul Hurst’s introductory press conference

“I’ve had a long playing career, I loved every minute, and I think now it is time to stop and think about new ideas,” said the soon to be 39-year-old.

“As a boy I dreamed of playing for the biggest clubs and for the national team. That didn’t quite happen, but I have to be happy for the career and the opportunities I’ve had.

“I had a good time at Celta Vigo and Malaga, but the highlight of my career was – of course – my time in Ipswich. I can’t put into words what I feel about the club, the fans and the area. I still get messages of support from the Ipswich fans now, seven years on from leaving, and that’s amazing. For a foreign player to be remembered like that is a strange but amazing thing.

“I know some people might think ‘wow, what has Pablo done to deserve that much love?’ I can understand that. They are probably right. But that connection we have, that respect, that love, it is difficult to describe. What they say about me is exactly how I feel about them. I just have to say ‘thank you’ because Ipswich gave me my best memories in football.”

Counago has played in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Finland since leaving Portman Road in 2011. Photo: Archant Counago has played in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Finland since leaving Portman Road in 2011. Photo: Archant

MORE: Read full transcript of Paul Hurst’s first press conference as Ipswich Town manager

He continued: “After Ipswich my wife and I decided we should take the opportunity to experience other countries and cultures. We had some time in Asia and then went to Finland. It’s been a long journey, a good journey, and now we’ll see what’s next.

“I’m doing my UEFA coaching badges. Maybe it will be coaching or management one day. Or maybe I will be a sporting director or a scout, something like that. I don’t know where I am going to go or what am I going to do yet. All I know is that I have to stay in football.

“I just want to make sure I am fully prepared before making the next step. Sometimes I think players retire and then go too quickly into their next role. I may have experienced many situations as a player, but there is still so much for me to learn.”

MORE: Follow EADT Sport on Facebook for all the latest ITFC video reports

Asked if he would like to return to Portman Road one day, Couñago replied: “Of course! For me, it will always be first option before any other club because of that special relationship.

“My wife was so happy there – she talks about that time more than me! And my son Andre, who is 10, was born in Ipswich and is always asking me if we can go visit.

“I will always help Ipswich Town in any way possible if they wanted me to. I think I could help them now, with my knowledge of various leagues and countries, but of course it is up to them if they want to listen to me.”

Passengers on Greater Anglia trains are facing huge delays – until the end of the day – due to damage to overhead lines in Essex.

A former Ipswich mayor has welcomed news of an annual Windrush Day celebration – but said it won’t compensate for the treatment of those affected by the ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy.

Framlingham singer Ed Sheeran has been spotted wearing an Ipswich Town shirt at his latest gig in London.

MPs in Suffolk and Essex are pressing Greater Anglia and Network Rail for answers after repairs to a cracked track caused severe disruption on the line to London this week.

An annual fundraising event took place under a new name this year but with the usual level of huge support to help raise more than £105,000 for charity.

These days I often forget why I’ve come into the kitchen, but take me to a Steps concert and I can remember every word from my teens.

Young patients who have finished chemotherapy at Ipswich Hospital can now ring a special bell to celebrate the end of their treatment and mark the start of the next chapter of their lives.

Highways England have released a full list of the work they will be carrying out on our roads this week.

The last seven months have brought a wealth of new experiences for Leia Dowsing as she continues on her journey to becoming a police detective.

A church in Ipswich held an open day on Saturday to provide a place for quiet contemplation following the violence that has erupted in the town over the last two weeks.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24