Sumulikoski's pledge to Town

VELICE Sumulikoski today revealed that he is with Ipswich Town to stay - and how club owner Marcus Evans is about to have a big say in his Blues career.

Elvin King


VELICE Sumulikoski today revealed that he is with Ipswich Town to stay - and how club owner Marcus Evans is about to have a big say in his Blues career.

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The 26-year-old is set to clock up a half century of Macedonian caps next Wednesday in a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zenica.

Before then he plans to help eighth-placed Town collect three crucial Coca-Cola Championship points at second-from-bottom Scunthorpe on Easter Saturday.

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And then his sights are set on lifting the Blues into the Premier League and improving is English.

“I am going to take my place on an intensive English language course run by the Marcus Evans Group for their foreign staff,” explained the player known as Shumi whose English is already perfectly acceptable.

The fact that the busy midfielder, who moves into a house later this month when his Czech girlfriend comes over, is keen to improve his English even further is proof of his desire to make his English career long term.

Apart from his native tongue Shumi can also speak Czech, Russian and Turkish after previously playing professionally in those countries.

“But England is where I want to stay,” he added.

“It has been a dream of mine to play in this country, and I would like to say to Ipswich fans that there is more to come.”

Shumi's style is suited to the English game and he has settled in quicker than most foreign newcomers, but the player said: “It has been okay and I am pleased.

“But Ipswich fans have not seen the best of me yet.

“Ipswich is well known in Macedonia, and since I have been here I have found that the organisation, the manager and the team to be first class.

“Everybody has been friendly and I have soon settled in, and am looking forward to my girlfriend and two dogs coming over from the Czech Republic.”

And talking of next week's international, Shumi said: “It may just be a friendly but it is important to me.

“It will be my 50th cap and I'm very proud of that. But I won't let it be a distraction to the Ipswich cause.

“There is a big rivalry between Macedonia and Bosnia. We were both part of the former Yugoslavia and there have been big problems.

“But I like football, not politics and will just concentrate on football.”

Sumulikoski was doing some promotion work of a different kind yesterday when he was at Ipswich Fire Station to help raise funds for Operation Florian, a project that will help send four fire appliances and equipment to Macedonia.

N TOWN central defender Chris Casement has been named in the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad for a friendly with Romania next Wednesday. He already has eight caps.

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