Town Begin Pre-Season Friendly Programme at Colchester
Tuesday, 18th Aug 2020 14:52
Town open their pre-season programme this evening with two behind-closed-doors 75-minute friendlies against Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium (KO 6pm and 8pm).
The Blues were due to play West Ham’s U23s at the weekend but that came was cancelled late last week after a member of the Hammers’ academy staff tested positive for Covid-19. Instead they played an in-house match.
The managers are likely to field two sides each which are a mix of first-teamers and fringe players across the two and a half hours of football with subtitutions also likely given the early stage of pre-season.
New Blues signings Stephen Ward, David Cornell and Oli Hawkins could all make their first appearances in Town shirts having completed their moves to Portman Road yesterday, although the former Portsmouth man in particular is understood to be short on training and may not be considered ready to play a part.
This evening’s game is expected to see right-back Kane Vincent-Young and forward Jack Lankester return to match action after their long-term injuries.
Former Colchester man Vincent-Young missed much of his first season at Portman Road with groin problems and Lankester missed the whole of the campaign having undergone back surgery.
Alan Judge is also likely to be involved despite suffering a stress fracture to a metatarsal at the start of March.
"I’m hoping for this Tuesday coming to play the Colchester game," the Irish international told iFollow Ipswich.
"What’s massive for me is that, touch wood, I won’t miss pre-season this year. I was playing catch-up last season. I’m settled, my family is settled and I’m really looking forward to this year."
Similarly, Tunisian international midfielder Idris El Mizouni is expected to make the short trip to North Essex, despite his loan spell at Cambridge United having been cut short by a knee ligament injury at the start of March.
Striker James Norwood appears less likely to be included in either of this evening's XIs having not played a full part in training so far as he continues his rehabilitation after undergoing groin surgery for a second time in February.
Keeper Tomas Holy is understood to have been suffering with a shoulder problem earlier in pre-season, while Gwion Edwards is believed to have a hip issue.
Midfielder Tristan Nydam isn’t due back in action from the broken ankle he suffered in pre-season last year until October, while striker Ben Morris already appears out for the season having suffered an ACL injury in training.
Tonight’s game is the Blues’ first fixture for 164 days with their last match back on March 7th when they were beaten 1-0 by League One champions Coventry City at Portman Road.
One of the Colchester teams is expected to include former Blues centre-half Tommy Smith, who is on trial with the U’s and played in Saturday's 2-0 friendly defeat to Gillingham.
Ex-Town keeper Dean Gerken and former defenders Tom Eastman and Omar Sowunmi are also set to be involved, along with midfielder Diaz Wright, the son of 2000 play-off final winner Jermaine Wright.
A stream for the two games, which can be accessed here, costs £5 with the Blues receiving 50 per cent of the revenue generated their supporters.
Former Blues midfielder David Gregory, now the head of media with the U's, will be providing commentary, while the pictures will be provided by Colchester's match analysis team and therefore will have a wider angle view than usual.
Town’s U23s are also in friendly action today against Stowmarket Town at Playford Road, again behind closed doors.
Photo: Action Images
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