Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Where now for Matt?

PUBLISHED: 20:00 28 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

MATT Holland has been at the heart of every Ipswich Town move over the last six years.

Now it looks as though he could be making a move away from the club.

MATT Holland has been at the heart of every Ipswich Town move over the last six years.

Now it looks as though he could be making a move away from the club.

The 29-year-old, currently on duty with the Republic of Ireland, may well have played his final game in a Town shirt at Portman Road.

There was a tear in his eye as he made his traditional lap of the pitch to applaud Blues supporters after the 5-1 hammering by weekend guests Wimbledon.

His body language suggested that he knew his time was up.

Since his arrival from Bournemouth in the summer of 1997 Holland has missed just one league match – at Gillingham this year while on international duty.

He has given sterling service and if this was his Portman Road swansong it was a sad way to go.

Ipswich suffered their eighth – and biggest – home defeat to finally end hopes of the quickest-possible return to the financial joys of the Premiership.

Holland has at least one more game – at Derby this Sunday – before the club's financial problems leads to him being sacrificed.

Holland turned down an August move to Aston Villa after clubs agreed terms, but with a lesser price now following a reduction in transfer fees Premiership clubs are more likely to match his wages.

"I accept that in the circumstances I could be playing my final game for Ipswich at Derby," said Holland.

"But nothing has been settled and as far as I know the situation remains undecided.

"I'm aware of the financial situation but that still doesn't mean clubs will come in for me or that I will leave.

"I have three years left on my contract and I'm happy to honour that, whether that means being in the Nationwide League or otherwise.

"The reception on Saturday was fantastic. It was very emotional, especially after a defeat like that.

"I don't know what happened. We blitzed them for 20 minutes and could have had five or six goals ourselves. They had about five shots on target all day and scored from them.

"My family and I are settled here and this means a lot to me. This played a big part in my decision not to sign for Villa and I have no regrets about that.

"I felt confident I could help Ipswich get back into the Premiership this season. I felt this until we conceded two late goals at Rotherham last Monday."

Jim Magilton is another who may have been playing his final home game, as his contract, like Fabian Wilnis, comes to an end in the summer.

With Nottingham Forest and Reading gaining a draw and a win Ipswich's chances of reaching the play-offs would have been dashed on Saturday even if they had beaten Wimbledon.

But with strikers David Connolly and Neil Shipperley in fine form, Town's defence could not cope and it was a disappointing way to end the home season.

Home fans made their feelings known during the game, but when the players returned to the pitch they received a rousing reception – leaving the trace of a tear in Holland's glistening eyes.

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