The Demolition Men: How players axed by Cook are performing at new clubs

(L-R) Aaron Drinan, Flynn Downes and Luke Chambers were among a number of players who departed Ipswich Town in the summer

(L-R) Aaron Drinan, Flynn Downes and Luke Chambers were among a number of players who departed Ipswich Town in the summer - Credit: Archant

It's the first transfer window since 'Demolition Man' Paul Cook blew up his Ipswich Town squad last summer. With Cook now part of the rubble he helped create, Mark Heath takes a look at how those he moved on have fared since...


Ipswich keeper David Cornell in action against AFC Wimbledon.

David Cornell is starting for Championship strugglers Peterborough - Credit: Steve

David Cornell (Peterborough, contract terminated)

The Welshman was in and out of the Town side during his short spell at Portman Road, making 15 appearances but never claiming the starting spot full-time.

He's won that role at new club Peterborough though, impressing while making 18 appearances and keeping three clean sheets so far as Posh battle against relegation from the Championship.

Harry Wright has signed a new deal with Ipswich Town. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Harry Wright is now at Fleetwood - Credit: Archant

Harry Wright (Fleetwood, free)

The son of Town keeping legend Richard, Wright had a couple of loan spells during his time in Suffolk, but never made his senior debut.

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It's been the same story so far at Fleetwood for the 23-year-old - a loan spell at non-league Farsley AFC, but no senior games for the Cod Army yet.

Adam Przybek, pictured with Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth (right) and goalkeeping coach Lee Harrison (left)

Adam Przybek, pictured with Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth (right) and goalkeeping coach Lee Harrison (left) - Credit: Wycombe Wanderers

Adam Przybek (Wycombe, free)

The young stopper only made one senior appearance in his time at Town, but it was a memorable one - the Welshman was between the sticks as the Blues beat Peterborough on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the EFL Trophy back in December 2019.

Now at Town's League One rivals Wycombe, the 21-year-old's played five times so far this season in the Carabao Cup, EFL Trophy and FA Cup. He's yet to start in the league though.


Luke Chambers back at Portman Road

Luke Chambers made his 800th career appearance last night - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Luke Chambers (Colchester, free)

You have to start the defenders section with Town's iconic ex-skipper, don't you? The 36-year-old played his 800th career game last night, a fantastic achievement, but the U's are struggling in League Two.

Chambers is one of four Town players from last season who made the move down the A12 in the summer, and is starting at the back alongside another ex-Town star, Tommy Smith. He's played 27 games so far, scoring twice, as the U's sit 22nd in the table.

James Wilson at Home Park

James Wilson is a nailed-on starter for Plymouth - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

James Wilson (Plymouth, free)

It was perhaps a surprise when Town's player of the season was among those moved on, but Wilson's found a home at League One surprise package Plymouth, who topped the table earlier in the season and currently sit in seventh.

The solid, dependable Wilson is a nailed-on starter for the Pilgrims, having played 27 times so far this season as part of the league's fourth-stingiest defence.

Walsall's Stephen Ward in action during the pre-season friendly match at Banks's Stadium, Walsall.

Walsall's Stephen Ward in action - Credit: PA

Stephen Ward (Walsall, free)

The veteran defender with Premier League pedigree faltered quickly after a good start at Town, but is still playing regularly down in League Two.

The 36-year-old Irishman has made 26 appearances at left back for Walsall, who are 15th in the fourth tier.


Swansea City's Flynn Downes (centre) and Stoke City's Joe Allen battle for the ball during the Sky B

Flynn Downes in action for Swansea City - Credit: PA

Flynn Downes (Swansea, £1.5m)

He and Andre Dozzell, the next name on this list, were once seen as the jewels in Town's crown - but Cook moved them on nonetheless.

All-action Downes has been a regular in the heart of the Swans' midfield - and has even played centre-back - as Russell Martin's men toil in the Championship. They are currently 17th, although they haven't played a league game since December 11 due to Covid.

Downes said recently the Swans' side was 'a joy to play in.'

Queens Park Rangers' Andre Dozzell during the pre-season friendly match at the Kiyan Prince Foundati

Andre Dozzell's QPR are pushing for promotion - Credit: PA

Andre Dozzell (QPR, £1m)

Dozzell was in and out of Rangers' side to begin the Championship season, but has since become a regular starter in Mark Warburton's midfield, making 20 appearances so far this campaign as QPR push for promotion to the Premier League - they're currently fifth in the Championship.

Speaking about Dozzell earlier this season, Warburton said: "Sometimes you’ve got to ease them in. It’s really important to ease them in because they’ve got to adjust.

“The jump from League One to the Championship is severe. You’ve got to make sure you give them the best chance of being successful. But he’s taken his chance."

Cole Skuse of Colchester United looks to win a header in the air against Christian Frimpong of AFC S

Cole Skuse of Colchester United looks to win a header in the air against Christian Frimpong of AFC Sudbury - Credit: Richard Blaxall

Cole Skuse (Colchester, free)

Another of the Town old guard to head down the A12, former Blues stalwart Skuse has largely been an every game starter in the U's midfield.

The 35-year-old has played 26 games, but Colchester have struggled so far.

Colchester United's Alan Judge during the Papa John's Trophy match at the JobServe Community Stadium

Alan Judge has yet to catch fire at Colchester - Credit: PA

Alan Judge (Colchester, free)

The man once dubbed the 'Irish Messi' made no secret of the fact he was unhappy about the way his time at Portman Road ended.

Sadly, he's not really ripped it up in the fourth tier, as you may have expected a player of his pedigree to do. He's battled injury problems - as was often the case at Town - and played 19 times for the U's, mostly as their No.10, scoring once.

Gwion Edwards has joined Wigan Athletic after leaving Ipswich Town

Gwion Edwards has mostly been used as a sub by Wigan - Credit: WAFC

Gwion Edwards (Wigan, free)

Winger Edwards has largely been a fringe player at the high-flying Latics, with Leam Richardson's men making a real push for promotion from League One this season.

Edwards has played 24 times in all competitions, but mostly been used as a substitute in the league. He has scored three goals though, including a brace in the 6-0 EFL Trophy win at Oldham last week.

Jack Lankester has signed a two-year deal with Cambridge United. Photo: CUFC

Jack Lankester has only made one league start for Cambridge United - Credit: Cambridge United

Jack Lankester (Cambridge United, undisclosed)

The talented youngster has once more had injury problems as he tries to establish himself down the A14 at the U's. He's only made one league start so far this season, among a total of 12 appearances.

He did come off the bench for the U's in their famous FA Cup win at Premier League moneybags Newcastle last weekend though, playing the last 14 minutes and having a goal disallowed in a game which will go down in club history.

Teddy Bishop applauds as he leaves the pitch.

Teddy Bishop's Lincoln are struggling - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Teddy Bishop (Lincoln, undisclosed)

Another of the players once considered among Town's crown jewels, the oft-injured Bishop is playing regularly for the Imps as they struggle in the bottom half of League One.

Having played 38 games for Town last season - a career high - Bishop's made 27 appearances so far this campaign, scoring three goals.

He bagged a brace in a 2-2 draw at Cheltenham last month. 

Ipswich Town's Emyr Huws celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Sky Bet Le

Emyr Huws is still without a club - Credit: PA

Emyr Huws (released)

The man who once seemed like a major building block for Town's future was released at the end of last season having played 12 games and scored once in 2020/21.

The Welsh midfielder, still only 28-years-old, has yet to find another club.

Tristan Nydam makes a return to the pitch.

Tristan Nydam worked his way back to fitness after a nasty injury. He's now without a club - Credit: Steve

Tristan Nydam (released)

Nydam played once for Town last season, featuring in the 0-0 draw with MK Dons in April having worked his way back to fitness after a nasty ankle break in July 2019, earning praise from Paul Cook.

But he was then released as part of Cook's cull, and the 22-year-old has yet to find another club.


Aaron Drinan signs for Leyton Orient

Aaron Drinan has been scoring goals aplenty at Leyton Orient - Credit: Leyton Orient

Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient, undisclosed)

Of all the players on this list, Drinan has arguably found the greatest success since leaving Suffolk.

He may have only ever scored one senior goal at the Blues, but Drinan has been on fire at Orient in League Two, netting 13 goals in 22 games so far. He bagged a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Hartlepool back in October, kicking off a hot streak in which he scored nine goals in eight games.

Orient are four points off the play-offs as it stands, so it's not impossible that Drinan's goals could yet fire them into the third tier.

“It was the right move at the right time,” he said recently of his move to Orient. “Some of the loan moves I had when I was at Ipswich didn’t go my way, but I’m just delighted now to be seeing the hard work pay off. Long may it continue.”

Freddie Sears could face Ipswich Town this evening

Freddie Sears has found his scoring boots - Credit: Richard Blaxall

Freddie Sears (Colchester, free)

The U's may be struggling, as already discussed, but Sears has found his scoring boots again in Essex, where he's finally being played as a striker once more after years toiling on the flanks at Town.

Sears has netted 11 times in 29 games, including eight strikes in his last 13 matches.

Oli Hawkins could make his first Ipswich start. Picture: Steve Waller

Oli Hawkins is now playing in defence for Mansfield - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Oli Hawkins (Mansfield, undisclosed)

The big striker never really got going in Suffolk, but he's found a home in the fourth tier with Mansfield - in defence.

Hawkins has mostly been playing at the back for Nigel Clough's Stags, but he's still scored six goals in 24 games so far, including a strike as they gave Championship Middlesbrough a big scare in the FA Cup last weekend.

Mansfield are four points and two places above Drinan's Orient in the League Two table.


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