New signings get their first outings

GARETH McAuley and Pim Balkestein will get their first public outing as Ipswich Town players at Brentford tonight.

Derek Davis

GARETH McAuley and Pim Balkestein will get their first public outing as Ipswich Town players at Brentford tonight.

Jim Magilton's two summer signings so far head the cast as the Blues first team start their pre-season fixtures at League Two side Griffin Park (7.30pm kick-off).

Alex Bruce is likely to be paired with each of them at some stage, while Magilton will also give Chris Casement a run-out at full back as he looks to find the right blend in defence.


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While Town fans will be thrilled to see the new boys they will be equally delighted to see Jon Walters turn out in the new-look Ipswich shirts adorned with the owner's name.

There has been widespread speculation that the supporters' player of the season was off to Stoke City, which has proved to be totally unfounded and the popular Town forward is expected to remain a Town player, despite Premier League interest.

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A minor injury meant he didn't play at Loughborough University last Friday but he is over that.

Magilton said: “Jon will be fine and fit and playing against Brentford. For a lot of others this will be their first game so we will give as many as we can a run-out even if it is just for 45 minutes. We will taper it to their needs.

“Then we have Monday Thursday and Saturday in Ireland.”

Shane Supple, who played the first half in a Town XI's 3-0 victory at Bury Town on Wednesday, will probably share the goalkeeping duties with Lewis Ward again tonight.

Veliche Shumulikoski is fully recovered from a leg injury that disrupted his end of season, while Richard Naylor has made excellent progress from a disturbing neck problem.

Teenage striker Jordan Rhodes is likely to get a run-out up front, with Alan Lee and Pablo Counago also appearing.

Owen Garvan, who has yet to sign his contract extension offer, will be involved and so should Tommy Miller, who has recovered from a slight knock.

It is likely that many of the first team squad will get a run-out, although only for 45 minutes or less.

One player who won't be involved is triallist Adam Green, who is unlikely to be with the squad that travels to Belfast next week for their three-game trip to the province.

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