Town forging links with Spanish giants

IPSWICH Town are forging links with Spanish giants Valencia CF that could lead to an exchange of players.Blues coach Steve Foley jetted off to Spain today to spend five more days with the club that is currently fourth in the Spanish First Division.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town are forging links with Spanish giants Valencia CF that could lead to an exchange of players.

Blues coach Steve Foley jetted off to Spain today to spend five more days with the club that is currently fourth in the Spanish First Division.

Town enjoyed a friendly relationship with French giants Monaco, and midfielder Jimmy Juan came over to Portman Road on loan to play 25 times and score five goals in 2005/6.

Foley said before jetting off to the sun: “A link-up is possible and I shall be meeting Valencia coach Quique Flores again.

“There is a chance we can loan players from one club to the other, and a spell in Spain would be beneficial to one or two of our youngsters.

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“I like the tempo of Spanish football and technically it is very good.

“I shall be spending time this week watching coaching sessions looking at different exercises and different systems.

“I may be 53 but I am always learning.”

Last month Foley spent time with Valencia along with Town first team coach Bryan Klug. They met Flores and spoke about Ipswich, and they also had VIP seats for the 2-0 home league win over Real Zaragoza.

“The coach said we could go over any time and we spent time looking at their youth set-up,” added Foley, whose Valencia connections began with a former Halstead restaurant owner.

“I got to know Fernando Ferriz when he was in England. He is a former Real Madrid goalkeeper, who is now retired.

“He knows everybody in Spanish football and he first arranged for me to link-up with Valencia a few years ago.

“I got to know current Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez who was then the Valencia coach.

“It has all snowballed from there and hopefully Ipswich Town will benefit from a growing friendship.”

Currently in the Valencia squad are former Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes, ex-Chelsea defender Asier Del Horno and former Arsenal midfielder Edu. Sought-after front man David Villa is also on the club's books.

Foley will be back in Suffolk for the start of pre-season training with Town players due to report back to the training ground next Tuesday, June 12.

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