Balkestein Signing Complete
Monday, 16th Jun 2008 15:45
Town have announced that they have completed the signing of central defender Pim Balkestein from Heerenveen. The 21-year-old was out of contract but the Blues have paid the Dutch side undisclosed compensation believed to be in the region of £100,000 as Balkestein is below 23-years-of-age.
The 6ft 3in defender, who has signed a two-year deal with an option of a third, was on trial with the Blues in April and May, playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Spurs and boss Jim Magilton told the club site he was impressed with what he saw: "We are delighted to have Pim at this football club.
"He wasn't fazed by mixing with the first team players when he came over for a trial with us.
"He's a confident lad. He was aggressive in his play and has a cultured left foot. He's 6ft 3in, is an organiser, he can pass a ball and is someone who is desperate for an opportunity.
"He paid his own flight to come over and play for us in a friendly at Tottenham. He showed a determination to play and his all round attitude and ability impressed me.
"Pim shows a belief in himself that he can come to Ipswich Town and make a real difference here and I like that. I think he has all the ingredients to have a bright future at this football club."
Balkestein, who has been with Heerenveen since he was 13, leaves the Frisian club without playing a single first team match.
The Dutchman is a player Heerenveen fans would have preferred to have stayed, Erik from feanfans.nl telling TWTD: "Balkestein is a player from our young stars team. He has never played in our first team, but he is a great defender for his age. His heading is perfect, but maybe he is slow on the first metres. I think in the future he will be a good player for Ipswich.â€
Last summer Balkestein was on standby for the Dutch U21 squad playing in the annual Toulon Tournament.
Photo: Action Images
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