Titus: Euro chance a dream come true
PRIDE will be running through the veins of former Holywells School pupil Titus Bramble when European football returns to Portman Road after 19 years.Following the summer sale of Richard Wright and James Scowcroft, 20-year-old central defender Bramble is the only local boy left in the Ipswich Town squad.
PRIDE will be running through the veins of former Holywells School pupil Titus Bramble when European football returns to Portman Road after 19 years.
Following the summer sale of Richard Wright and James Scowcroft, 20-year-old central defender Bramble is the only local boy left in the Ipswich Town squad.
"This is a dream come true," said Bramble today, about the delayed tie against Torpedo Moscow that now takes place next Thursday. "It is unbelievable to be playing in such a prestigious competition for my home town club."
Bramble cannot remember anything about Ipswich's glory days in Europe under the management of Bobby Robson, but he understands how significant it was for the town.
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"The club's success in Europe bolstered the image of Ipswich around the world and it is a privilege to be involved as the club starts out on the UEFA Cup trail again," said Bramble, who will be a man on a mission against Torpedo.
"We have conceded some poor goals this season, but this is one game where we must keep a clean sheet. A one or two-nil victory will be perfect and set us up for the second leg.
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"Last season we were hard to break down but we have been more vulnerable this season. My partnership with John McGreal worked well in 2000/01 and now that he is fit again we aim to be more secure at the back.
"If we can do that we have players who can get us the goals."
Bramble says that the UEFA Cup can only improve his game. "Playing against foreign opposition will be good for me and another step in my career," explained the England Under-21 international, who has been tipped for full honours in the near future.
"All I can do is to play well for Ipswich and hope that the recognition comes. The club, and the players, have a wonderful platform against Moscow with the match still being shown live on television. It gives us a perfect chance to show the nation how good our team really is.
"We know it will be hard but if we make progress against Torpedo we know that drawing a big team becomes more of a reality.
"To do well in the Premiership is still our main goal with the UEFA Cup a bonus. But we know what the rewards are and for a local boy like me playing for Ipswich Town in Europe is something I cannot wait to do."