Wanderers side is under attack
SOCCER: Graham Bickers wants to attack his way up the Jewson League table.The newly-appointed manager of Ipswich Wanderers wants his side to entertain.
By Elvin King
GRAHAM Bickers wants to attack his way up the Jewson League table.
The newly-appointed manager of Ipswich Wanderers wants his side to entertain. "I want my players to enjoy themselves," he said today.
"This might rebound on us at times, but I want to do the job my way. To change things round from other managers who might prefer to grind out results.
"The whole ethos of the club is changing – hopefully for the better."
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Wanderers finished one place above the relegation zone in the Premier Division last season when Alan Dilloway was in charge at Humber Doucy Lane.
Previously in charge of the Wanderers youth and reserves teams, Bickers made a stir when was in charge of the Under-18s. He was unable to attend one league match, but still wanted to make an impression.
So he prepared a cardboard cut-out of himself and had it placed in the stand. "It worked as the lads won 4-0," recalls Bickers.
"I don't think there will be any need to revert to a similar scheme now. The players I have at first team level all know what is expected of them. And they are capable of achieving it."
Bickers is well aware of the pitfalls of the job he took in July. "I will keep my finger on the button and I am sure things will not go awry. I am not concerned about the thoughts of relegation and am very happy with how the season has begun."
A 0-0 draw with Ely City and a 2-0 defeat against Mildenhall have so far given Wanderers one point, but it was the two displays over Tiptree United in the FA Cup that impressed Bickers.
"Having got to the FA Carlsberg Vase final last season, Tiptree will have fancied their chances," added Bickers. "We played well to deserve our draw on Saturday and then came from behind to win on penalties in the replay at Humber Doucy Lane on Tuesday.
"This was important as it shows we have character. I am happy with my squad, and particularly pleased that many of the players I signed put pen to paper without being concerned about the financial side.
"I am always on the lookout to bring in players who I feel might improve the strength of the squad – and hope to make a new signing within the next week."
Wanderers have a home game on Thursday when they entertain Leyton Pennant from the Ryman League Division Two. It should be a close match with Bickers looking forward to the challenge.
"Ironically, I watched Leyton Pennant play last season when they met Felixstowe and Walton United," said Bickers.
"I know something about them and can recall that they had a very good midfield player."
The reason Bickers watched Leyton was because his son Jonathan was in the Felixstowe team at the time.
He is now turning out for Wanderers, when not involved in his duties with Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
Bickers junior works for a computer company that records first team matches with numerous cameras. These can then be played back to zoom in on any one player and give a full breakdown of the all the movements made in the 90 minutes.
"I have seen it in action and it is mind blowing," added Bickers senior, who has one secret wish.
"It would be great to play at Portman Road and have the system on my team, but that would be a backward step as it would mean relegation to the Jewson League First Division and entry into the Suffolk Senior Cup."
The Senior Cup final is traditionally played at Suffolk's top venue, with the Premier Cup final on a neutral or one of the finalists' grounds.
But Bickers has no fears about any dropping down in standard. He is confident he can bring an element of success to non-league football in Ipswich.
And like Frank Sinatra he plans to do it his way.