Ipswich to host World Cup hopefuls

IPSWICH is to play host to an international team before their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.Antigua & Barbuda will face Ipswich Wanderers at their Humber Doucy Lane ground on Saturday, May 31 and Ed Nicholls, chairman of Ipswich Wanderers, said today: “It is a dream fixture for us.

IPSWICH is to play host to an international team before their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Antigua & Barbuda will face Ipswich Wanderers at their Humber Doucy Lane ground on Saturday, May 31 and Ed Nicholls, chairman of Ipswich Wanderers, said today: “It is a dream fixture for us.

“We wanted to have a high-profile friendly, but we never dreamt that we would be playing a national team. We are delighted.

“The club has still got ambitions, despite being relegated recently from the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League.


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“We need to draw a line under last season and a fixture like this is ideal for manager Steve Buckle and the players as we look forward to next season.”

The Wadidli Boys, who are currently ranked as the 127th best national side by FIFA, feature three full-time professionals in their ranks.

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Nicholls said the fixture had been arranged through former Ipswich Town player and coach Bryan Hamilton and that Willie Donachie, who was Joe Royle's number two while he was manager of Ipswich, is helping to coach them.

“Willie has gone over there to help them prepare and will be coaching them while they are in this country. They plan to train at Ipswich Town's training ground at Playford Road.”

The match at Humber Doucy Lane will kick-off at 2pm and admission will be £7 for adults and £5 for concessions. Nicholls added: “We are looking to get any Antiguans in the area involved and make them feel welcome, while we are also keen to attract sponsorship for the match.”

The match against Ipswich Wanderers will follow on from a fixture against fellow Ridgeons League side Lowestoft Town this Saturday.

The FA Vase finalists will face Antigua & Barbuda, who arrive in this country on Thursday, in their first match since their heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Kirkham and Wesham at Wembley.

The match will take place at Bungay Town FC at 1pm as Lowestoft's Crown Meadow pitch is out of action while facilities are upgraded to Ryman League standards.

Antigua & Barbuda, who are managed by

former player Derrick Edwards, are preparing for a crucial double-header against Cuba in the CONCACAF qualifying section on the road to the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010.

Edwards said of the home and away matches against Cuba: “I suppose it's better than drawing the USA or Mexico - but Cuba are one of the best teams in the Caribbean and with increased fitness and preparations we'll be going in with confidence.” Any Antiguans wishing to attend the match against Ipswich Wanderers or anyone interested in sponsoring the game should get in touch with Ed Nicholls on 07712 652189.

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