Everything you need to know about Ipswich Town open day
PUBLISHED: 15:17 22 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:17 22 July 2018
It is a chance to get up, close and personal with your favourite Ipswich Town stars and celebrate East Anglia's greatest football club.
In an event that is as hotly anticipated on the calendar as even some of the Tractor Boys’ biggest matches, the club will hold its annual open day on Thursday, July 28.
The event attracted 5,000 people last season and with new manager Paul Hurst taking the helm this year, it is likely to be as popular as ever – so here is everything you need to know about one of the biggest events of the season.
When and where?
The event is held at Portman Road – the home of Ipswich Town Football Club, where legendary managers such as Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson have steered the team to so many successes over the years.
The gates at the ground will 9.30am and close at 2pm – but given the stellar attractions on the day, fans are advised to get to the stadium early.
Will I get to meet the players?
One of the biggest benefits of the open day is that supporters will be able to shake hands and pose for selfies with their favourite stars – something unthinkable at any many of the big clubs.
The first-team squad will all there taking part in an hour-long signing session from 9.45am, so you’ll be able to get autographs from with the likes of Bartosz Bialkowski, Jonas Knudsen and Martyn Waghorn.
And if that’s not enough, you will have the chance to see Town players in action when an open training session is held on the main Portman Road pitch at around 11am.
“It’s always a popular day at the club and the chance for supporters to come down and meet the players and also take part in fun activities,” said Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne.
“It’s a good way to start the season with everyone together.”
What about the new manager?
He may only be a few weeks into his new job and busily preparing for his first season with Town, but Paul Hurst will be there to meet and greet the expectant fans.
Fans are sure to have plenty of questions for the gaffer about his plans for the 2018/19 campaign – but those who want to meet him are advised to get to the open day early.
“The club does everything possible to ensure everyone who wants an autograph, or selfie with a player or the manager gets one,” a spokesman for Ipswich Town said.
“It’s not always possible with the volume of people but we accommodated over 2,000 last year.”
What happens during the training session?
The players take part in a full training session on the main pitch, with fitness work and then ball work, with goals galore promised.
What other activities will be taking place?
There is plenty to keep people entertained throughout the day, not least the Skills Arena where people can try out their footballing skills.
A speed goal activity will reward people with the fastest kick and there are also segways to try out, rowing machine and exercise challenges and Suffolk FA coaching – to name just a few.
What is there for children?
As well as signing and training sessions, several fun activities have been planned for the FanZone area, including face painting and inflatables. There will also be a mascot race on the pitch after training has finished, with the club’s own mascots Blueey and Crazee in attendance throughout the day.
Is there anything to eat or drink?
For those who feel hungry the club says there is plenty to eat and drink, with a burger van and ice cream cart along with coffee stand at the event.
How much does it cost?
The event is free to all.