Sam's up and running for new season

IPSWICH striker Sam Parkin today spoke of his determination to succeed at Portman Road.The £450,000 former Swindon star is anxious to make up for lost time after his first season as a Town player was wrecked by injury.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH striker Sam Parkin today spoke of his determination to succeed at Portman Road.

The £450,000 former Swindon star is anxious to make up for lost time after his first season as a Town player was wrecked by injury.

Five-goal Parkin, 25, suffered a broken ankle in the home defeat by Reading in November last year and was sidelined until the final game of the season at Plymouth, when he appeared as a substitute eight minutes into the second half.


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Now, in his desire to be as fit as possible, he is among a crop of Ipswich stars who have started their pre-season training ahead of schedule.

Parkin, looking refreshed and tanned from a summer break in California, said: “I was grateful that I had that run-out down at Plymouth but I had done hardly any training beforehand and I was definitely lagging behind in terms of fitness.

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“It was important that I came back from holiday and started to work straight away on my fitness.

“Yesterday was my first day back and although we're not officially due to start until next Monday, about half the squad were there.

“It was left up to us if we wanted to come in early and the fact that so many of the lads opted to report back a week early has to be a good sign.”

It was a new experience for Parkin to find himself sidelined for so long, but he is now confident that his injury problems are a thing of the past.

The one-time Chelsea trainee added: “I only missed about three or four games in my three seasons with Swindon and having earned myself a move to a bigger club I was gutted at the way things worked out.

“The only good thing was that at the back end of last season it looked as if I might need another op to clean up the ankle.

“But in the end it was decided that I should rest and that did it the world of good. When I got through a reserve game and then played a brief part at Plymouth I was on my way.

“Now I would like nothing more than an injury-free second season at Ipswich and of course a decent number of goals to help us challenge for promotion.”

Parkin rubbished rumours, spread by an ill-informed website, that he did not enjoy the best of relationships with new boss Jim Magilton, to the extent that Barnsley were ready to pay a cut-price £250,000 fee to take him to Oakwell.

He confirmed: “There's no problem between me and the gaffer. We got on well as players and, fingers crossed, that will continue now that he has taken over as manager.

“Far from moving elsewhere, I am more determined than ever to make an impact at Ipswich. The start of the new season can't come quickly enough for me.”

Magilton also stressed that he sees Parkin as a key member of his squad when he said: “I have great faith in Sam and what he can do.

“It will be good to have him back with us and the aim is to get him through the pre-season programme so that he's at peak fitness when the new season gets going.”

Another Town striker, Alan Lee, recently underwent surgery to repair a persistent groin problem and Magilton added: “He will be there or thereabouts for the start of the season.

“It was felt that it was better to crack on and get something done now, rather than it going in September or October and then him missing a large chunk of games.”

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