Wanderers follow in famous footsteps

IPSWICH Wanderers are following in the illustrious footsteps of Inter-Milan and Manchester United.Prior to their FA Carlsberg Vase fifth round tie with Wessex Premier League AFC Totton at Humber Doucy Lane on Saturday they will be using the plush facilities on offer at Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH Wanderers are following in the illustrious footsteps of Inter-Milan and Manchester United.

Prior to their FA Carlsberg Vase fifth round tie with Wessex Premier League AFC Totton at Humber Doucy Lane on Saturday they will be using the plush facilities on offer at Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club.

“I just hope they remember who we are when they send us the bill,” quipped Wanderers manager John Clarkson.

Italian giants Inter-Milan stayed at the golf club on the Suffolk/Essex border prior to their UEFA Cup game against Ipswich Town in 2001/02, and the glittering Premiership stars of Manchester also booked in before games at Portman Road in 2000/01 and 2001/02.

Birmingham were housed at Stoke-by-Nayland last Friday prior to their Championship match at Colchester the following day.

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“Perhaps something will rub off on us,” said Clarkson, who is taking his players to the golf club for a pre-match meal.

“We will need to be at our peak to beat Totton, but if we perform like I know we can we will get a result.

“I have watched them play, and so have two other members of the club.

“And all reports are the same - Totton are a well organised team, who play as a unit.

“They play a high line at the back and utilise two wide players. They will be very tough opponents.”

Clarkson, who moved to East Anglia last year after managing in the south west, has never reached this far in the Vase before.

And neither have Wanderers, whose previous best was reaching the second round last season when beaten 6-3 at London Colney.

“The more you get involved in the Vase the more you appreciate what a wonderful competition it is,” added Clarkson, who will be missing two vital players through suspension.

Paul Betson and Lee Owen, who have both experienced Vase finals with AFC Sudbury, are banned, while Matty Cunningham is out with an eye injury and Sean Bell is a doubt because of a hamstring strain.

“They will be missed,” said Clarkson, who has irons in the fire to make a notable new signing in time for Saturday's game.