'He goes with our best wishes' - Cook confirms Judge will leave Town
- Credit: www.stephenwaller.com
Manager Paul Cook has confirmed Alan Judge has played his final game for Ipswich Town and will be released in the summer.
We revealed last night how a contract clause in the Irishman’s expiring deal, which would trigger an extra year after one more start, means he will not be considered for first-team duty between now and the end of the campaign.
Speaking this morning, Cook confirmed the story as well as the fact Judge will leave the club when his deal expires at the end of June, as the new boss begins a significant clear-out at Portman Road.
“Yeah, Alan will be moving on this summer with my best wishes,” Cook said.
“During my short time at the club he’s been a pleasure to work with because he’s an infectious young man who loves his football and has a strong personality around the club.
“Going forward I wish him well. There was a trigger in his contract where, if he’d started one more game, he would have had another year.
“At the minute I wasn’t prepared to want to trigger that going forward.”
Cook revealed Judge offered to waive the clause in his contract in order to play a part on the club’s final six games, but the Town boss stressed that was not an option as a duty of care to the 32-year-old.
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“Alan was prepared to take it out his contract so he could maybe play but, if he got injured in the final games it could impact his future and the rest of his career,” Cook said.
“That’s not something I wanted to take on because if a player gets injured playing for me then I would feel beholden to that player and the club would too.
“This club needs change, it has to have change, it must have change and it will have change.
“Going forward it’s obvious and clear there will be a lot of change at this football club.
“I wish him every success for the future.”
Judge made a total of 91 appearances in blue since joining in January 2019 from Brentford, scoring eight goals in that time.
Cook also discussed the departure of Jimmy Walker, which was announced on Thursday.
"Like every situation at the club, it’s delicate,” Cook said.
“When a new manager comes in, like myself with Gary Roberts, then the staff are maybe a little bit edgy. Then there’s new ownership with Michael O’Leary as chairman and Mark Ashton coming at the end of May as CEO.
“There’s going to be a lot of change and within that I’ve been entrusted with the football side in terms of making decisions to take the club forward. To say I’m not happy at the minute probably wouldn’t do ‘not happy’ justice.
“What we offer on the pitch, myself and the staff included, is a million miles from where it needs to be.
“With Jimmy it was a decision that was made to allow Jimmy to look to the summer to get a fresh opportunity because he has a great name in football and is a really good guy to be around.
“He’s another guy I wish well for the future along with everyone at the football club.”
Academy goalkeeping coach Carl Pentney will step up to work with the first-team goalkeepers following Walker's exit, with Cook now looking for a permanent replacement.
Nick Colgan, who had a brief spell with the Blues during his playing career, was Cook's goalkeeping coach at Wigan and is now currently at Nottingham Forest.
Ipswich Town contracts
McGuinness, Bennetts, Harrop, Parrott, Matheson
Chambers, Skuse*, Ward*, Wilson*, Sears*, Jackson*, Bishop*, Nsiala*, Edwards, Donacien*, Drinan, Nydam*, El Mizouni*, Morris*, Clements*, Gibbs*, Andoh*, Hughes*
Downes*, Norwood*, Lankester*, Kenlock*, Ndaba*, Holy, Nolan, Cornell*, Hawkins*, McGavin*, Crowe*, Smith*, Simpson*, Crane*, Chirewa*
*known to have a 12-month contract option