Bart: Webster Key to Move
Thursday, 14th Aug 2014 06:00
Bartosz Bialkowski has revealed the key role that goalkeeping coach Malcolm Webster played in his move to Ipswich.
Webster is in his second spell at Portman Road, having originally joined during George Burley’s time as manager, and he returned when Paul Jewell was in charge prior to Mick McCarthy’s arrival in November 2012.
Bialkowski said: “Mally is a really good guy – a funny guy – and one of the best, if not the best, goalkeeping coaches I have ever worked with. I have known him for a long time.
“When I was at Hearts on trial Mally was there. Then he went to Southampton, called my agent and signed me for Southampton.
“I know him really well and I know I can only get better now that I am working with him regularly again.”
Bialkowski knew throughout the 2013/14 campaign that he might be Ipswich-bound, adding: “There were some clubs interested in me, especially abroad, but I wanted to stay in England.
“The atmosphere in games is amazing here, the best in the world I would say. That’s what I love about it and why I was looking to stay in England if at all possible.
“I spoke to Mally a year ago when we played against Ipswich in a pre-season game and he told me Ipswich were going to be watching me through the season.
“Then, two days before the final game of last season, Mally called me and said they wanted to sign me. It was a simple decision for me to come here.” Current boss Mick McCarthy succeeded where his nemesis Roy Keane failed when he signed Bialkowski on a permanent basis.
Back in 2009, towards the end of Jim Magilton's time as Town manager, the Pole joined the Blues on a loan deal from Southampton as cover for Shane Supple while he spent time on loan at Oldham.
Keane replaced Magilton during that spell and the Manchester United legend tried to make the move permanent only to be rebuffed by the Saints.
Bialkowski had been sent off in his first game for Town’s reserve side at Luton and returned to the south coast without a senior outing to his name – but that did not deter Keane.
“He made a bid for me but Southampton rejected it," BIalkowski recalls. "I knew I would have been the number two keeper behind Wrighty [Richard Wright] but I wanted to get out of Southampton because I fell out with the manager [Jan Poortvliet] there.
“I just needed some change and that’s why I came to Ipswich. I was second choice behind Kelvin [Davis] and they signed another keeper from Spurs [Tommy Forecast].
“I was in and out of the team. One week I was on the bench and the next week the other keeper was on the bench.
“I couldn’t take that. I was upset not to be first choice and I couldn’t take being third choice. That’s why I wanted to get out of the club.”
Photo: Action Images
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