De Vos sure Town will go up next season

JASON De Vos did not even tell his team mates he was hanging up his boots until after yesterday's 1-0 victory over Hull City in the final round of 2007/08 Coca-Cola Championship fixtures.

Elvin King

JASON De Vos did not even tell his team mates he was hanging up his boots until after yesterday's 1-0 victory over Hull City in the final round of 2007/08 Coca-Cola Championship fixtures.

Team mate Jonathan Walters said: “We were perhaps expecting something, but he confirmed the news after we got back into the dressing room.

“Jason proved against Hull what a commanding player he is keeping quiet a tried and trusted front line. He will be missed.”

The players rushed around to present their skipper with a signed shirt and also a picture of his beloved Stratford St Mary before De Vos came through to confirm to the world that he was hanging up his boots after 18 years.

He is to start work on May 17 for Canadian's equivalent of the BBC - the CBC as a TV soccer commentator and analyst.

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He received a tremendous ovation when he paraded ahead of the rest of the players along with the also retiring Fabian Wilnis and Sylvain Legwinski 15 minutes after the finish of the game.

“I made my mind up two months ago,” said 34-year-old De Vos, who was offered a new contract extension by Ipswich.

“It was a hard thing to do as I came to Ipswich four years ago to help them get into the Premier League.

“Now I will watch their progress from Canada as they gain promotion next season. I said last week that Jim Magilton will get them promoted. And I know he will.

“It's disappointing we didn't make the play-offs but overall I don't have any regrets.

“The stars just didn't shine on us but, as I've said on many occasions, you finish where you finish on merit.

“You can rue many things, like missed chances and refereeing decisions, but ultimately you make your own luck.

“I know this club will get promoted soon and I wanted it to be this season because, as captain, I would have felt I'd done my job.”

De Vos, who will cover Toronto's fortunes in the American MLS and would have delayed starting his new job if Town had made the play-offs, went on:

“The time's right for me to walk away and I feel proud to have had the career I've had.

“I couldn't have got any more out of the limited ability I have and I'll certainly look back on my four years here with nothing but fondness.

“Hands down, Ipswich are the best club outside the Premier League.

“The lap of honour after the game was a wonderful moment and I owe so much to the fans - they're the lifeblood of the club and I thank them so much.

“And also my wife, parents and the chairman at Ipswich Town. And to Jim Magilton for asking me to skipper such a wonderful club.”

De Vos said that the choice of a successor as club skipper was up the manager and not him.

Wilnis, who ended his Town career having made exactly the same number of appearances as fellow Dutchman Romeo Zondervan - 325 - has been with Town for ten seasons.

But the 37-year-old said: “You have not seen the last of me.” He is taking his UEFA coaching badges later this month.

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