Edghill may be the answer for Royle

IPSWICH'S search for an experienced defender could reunite management duo Joe Royle and Willie Donachie with one of their former players.Richard Edghill made the bulk of his appearances for Manchester City, including a significant number when Royle and assistant Donachie were in charge of team affairs at Maine Road.

IPSWICH'S search for an experienced defender could reunite management duo Joe Royle and Willie Donachie with one of their former players.

Richard Edghill made the bulk of his appearances for Manchester City, including a significant number when Royle and assistant Donachie were in charge of team affairs at Maine Road.

Oldham-born Edghill came through the youth ranks, making his first team debut as a teenager in the Premiership and graduating to win England Under-21 honours.

Now 30, he is looking for a new club after leaving Queen's Park Rangers at the end of last season following two years at Loftus Road.

Edghill looked to be on his way to Derby when new boss Phil Brown offered him a trial spell at Pride Park, but the Rams subsequently signed former Norwich right-back Marc Edworthy.

That meant they were unable to offer Edghill a deal and his availability could solve a problem for Town in their quest to bolster their defensive options.

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One major plus with Edghill, apart from his considerable experience, is his versatility.

Most of his appearances may have been at right-back, but he can also operate on the opposite flank or in the middle of the back line.

After winning under-21 honours he was on the verge of breaking into the England senior side when then boss Terry Venables invited him to attend an international get-together.

But a serious knee injury curtailed his progress and cost him more than a year of his career, although he showed typical courage to fight his way back.

He was a key member of Royle's team that clawed their way out of the Second Division - now League One - thanks to a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Gillingham in the 1999 Wembley play-off final.

Although he had never taken a penalty before, he confidently drilled home from the spot as City completed one of the most amazing comebacks of all time.

Edghill captained City in the 1999-2000 season, when they pipped Ipswich for the second automatic promotion place and returned to the Premiership.

He joined Birmingham City on loan in November 2000, then after regaining his first team place under Royle's successor, Kevin Keegan, he suffered another injury setback in the shape of a second knee injury.

A loan spell at Wigan followed, then he had a brief stint with Sheffield United before joining QPR in August 2003.

Royle is desperate to add an experienced defender to his depleted squad and free agent Edghill could provide the answer.

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