Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

‘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: ArchantCounago 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: ArchantCounago 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.”

Ipswich Town supporters were among the best behaved fans in the Championship last season, according to a league table of bans for violence and disorder.

Catering staff at Ravenswood Primary School are serving up 225 hot lunches every day - and an increasing number of those are tailored for children suffering from fish, milk and gluten intolerances.

A pub licensee who punched a customer and then smashed him over the head with a pint glass has been jailed for 19 months.

Our Throwback Thursday feature returns once again - and this week we look back to November 1982 and what was going on in and around Ipswich.

Community leaders in Felixstowe have agreed to spend £68,000 to fund an extra police officer for the town to deal with specific problems.

Martin Roberts had nothing but praise for Ipswich after he visited with the film crew from BBC series, Homes Under The Hammer this week.

For a second year in a row Ipswich Central will bring a real tree to the town centre.

The staff at an Ipswich travel firm are celebrating their 30-year-anniversary in Ipswich alongside everyone’s favourite elephant - Elmer.

The first new Swiss-built train for Greater Anglia has arrived in the region – being pulled from the Channel Tunnel, around London and along the main line to Norwich early on Thursday morning.

Have you always dreamed of running your own business from home? This property is perfect for that with its 46ft renovated barn/office space. Take a look inside here.

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