‘Discussions to be had’ on derby day noon kick-off time

The panel included Managing Director Ian Milne and Academy Manager Lee O'Neill. Picture: ADAM HOWLET

The panel included Managing Director Ian Milne and Academy Manager Lee O'Neill. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne has said he would like to move the home derby match to 3pm – but can’t as the club is being “dictated” to by Sky Sports and the police.

Fans got a chance to pose questions to officials at the club. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Fans got a chance to pose questions to officials at the club. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

Mr Milne and representatives from the club were grilled by fans at the Official ITFC Supporters Club AGM at Portman Road last night.

However, manager Mick McCarthy was missing from the Q&A panel after hinting he may walk away from the club when his contract comes to an end in May.

Town fan Andrew Westlake, from Elmswell, pushed Mr Milne on whether the match could be moved to a later afternoon slot, saying many people in rural Suffolk found it difficult to get into Ipswich on public transport for the midday game.

Mr Milne said the club’s preference was for a 3pm kick off. “I absolutely agree with you,” he said. “There is a case that we are being dictated to – one by police and one by Sky. Our preference is to put it to 3pm like before.”

Representatives from ITFC faced a grilling at the Official ITFC Supporters Club AGM. Picture: ADAM H

Representatives from ITFC faced a grilling at the Official ITFC Supporters Club AGM. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

He said he would be speaking to police and Sky about the issue.

Head of coaching Bryan Klug and academy manager Lee O’Neill had some promising news from the academy, saying they had a wealth of quality players coming through the ranks.

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Mr Klug said: “Without putting pressure on anyone, because it is just potential, we do have a few that have impressed in certain games. We are excited but it is a long journey to get to the first team. We see in each age group we have some outstanding players and outstanding potential.”

When quizzed on whether Ipswich were losing potential academy players to Premiership clubs, Mr O’Neil said Ipswich Town could offer much more of a future.

“The biggest draw for us is the pathway into the first team,” he said. “The coaching we have from Bryan is first class and we have been able to put a great programme together.”

Before the club faced the fans, the supporters club voted in its new committee and chairman.

Outgoing chairwoman Liz Edwards, who is becoming the club’s supporter liaison officer, thanked everyone who had supported her over the years.

Steve Doe was elected chairman with Irene Davy and Mark Ramsey secretary and treasurer. Paul Voller, Sandra Cunningham, Julie Cooper and Martin Swallow were also elected to the committee.

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