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Cook: Judge Offered to Waive One-Year Option
Friday, 16th Apr 2021 11:20

The summer Portman Road exodus got under way in earnest yesterday with the departures of midfielder Alan Judge and goalkeeper-coach Jimmy Walker. Manager Paul Cook revealed at his pre-match press conference that Judge offered to waive the one-year option which would have been triggered by his 30th league start of the season so he could continue to play for the rest of the season.

After rumours that the Irish international had departed circulated yesterday afternoon, Town confirmed that the 32-year-old would play no further part in a statement last night. Having made 29 league starts this season, another would automatically trigger another season on his deal, something Cook wasn't prepared to do.

“Alan will be moving on this summer with my best wishes,” Cook said. “In my short time at the club, Alan was an absolute pleasure to work with, a pleasure.

“He's a very infectious young man and he loves his football, he's a very, very strong character and personality around the club. Going forward, I wish him well.

“There was a trigger in his contract that if he’d started one more game that would have triggered another year and at the minute I wasn't prepared to want to trigger that. Going forward, I then wasn't prepared to do that.

“Alan was prepared then to possibly maybe take it out of the contract and different stuff, but we suggested that if Alan was to get injured in the final games, then that could affect his future and the rest of his career, and it wasn't something that I wanted to take on board.

“Because if a player gets injured playing for us and playing for me, I would feel beholden to that player and the club would. I think it's quite obvious and I won't go into great depth.

“This club needs change. This club has to have change, this club must have change and this club will have change.

“So, going forward, I think with Alan, we've obviously had one or two other lads leave, loans have left. I think it's quite obvious and clear that there will be a lot of change at this football club.

“So on Alan, I certainly wish him well, he was a lovely young man, he was a pleasure to be around, and I wish him every success in the future.”

Walker’s exit was announced yesterday morning with academy keeper-coach Carl Pentney stepping into the first-team role in the interim.

The former West Ham and Walsall keeper's departure leaves first-team coach Matt Gill as the only remaining member of Paul Lambert's staff still at the club.

Cook brought in Gary Roberts as another first-team coach, while U23s coach Kieron Dyer has played an increasing role with the senior side, the new boss having been impressed by the former England international's coaching abilities.

Leam Richardson, Cook's assistant at Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan, has been linked with a move to the Blues in the summer, however, appears increasingly likely to be offered the Wigan's manager's job full-time. Richardson is currently interim-boss of the Latics.

We understand former Blues central defender John McGreal, who played alongside Cook at Tranmere, is also very much in contention for a role during the summer’s shake-up at Portman Road.

Cook's Wigan goalkeeper-coach Nick Colgan, who had a brief spell with Town as a player without making a senior appearance, is currently working at Nottingham Forest.

Asked whether he has a replacement lined up for Walker, Cook said: “Again it's a platform for you [the media] where you want every topic discussed and everything. Going forward, especially with the goalkeeping situation, like every situation at the club, as you can imagine, it's delicate.

“You know, when a new manager comes in with 10 games to go with Gary Roberts, the staff are a little bit edgy. Obviously, with the new ownership coming in now, with Michael O'Leary coming in as a chairman and Mark Ashton is about to come in at the end of May as CEO, there’s going to be a lot of change.

“Within that, at the minute, I've been entrusted with the football side of the club and making decisions to take the club forward.

“To say I'm not happy at the minute wouldn't probably be doing ‘not happy’ a fair assessment of where we're at.

“What we offer on the pitch as a football club, myself and the staff included, is a million miles from where this club needs to be.

“So, again with Jimmy, it was a decision that was made. Certainly, that allows Jimmy to look to the summer to get a fresh opportunity.

“Jimmy's got a great name in football, and he's a really good guy to be around and another guy I certainly wish well for the future, as does everyone at Ipswich Town wish him that as well.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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positivity added 11:23 - Apr 16
classy from judge and cook on this, sensible outcome too

StringerBell added 11:25 - Apr 16
Can't wait to see where the axe falls next. Cook hasn't made one bad decision on who to let go yet and I trust that he'll carry on in the same vein.
Really we can jettsion just about everyone apart from Downes, Vincent-Young, Dobra, me out!

senduntd added 11:27 - Apr 16
Like to see Alan Judge stay. Decent bloke who is a good midfielder who needs to play in his preferred position.

arc added 11:28 - Apr 16
I am trying to read the code here. Judge and Walker are both "a pleasure to be around." I wonder if Cook has decided there's too much joking and levity in the building. Maybe too much pleasure.

atty added 11:44 - Apr 16
StringerBell - Wolfenden, Wilson, Nydam, Bishop, Lancaster, Norwood, Hawkins. This is with a view to building a squad, and I’m convinced they and your picks can perform in Lge 1. We can’t buyb25 new players, so spend as big as possible in key areas- LB, CB, CM, Strikers.

Europablue added 11:49 - Apr 16
Cook said "he's a very, very strong character and personality around the club" and that would suggest that he is a great person to have around to enjoy yourself, but obviously that character and personality have not led to us having great results and have not earned him a new contract. It's difficult to tell exactly as he is getting fairly old and Cook might have a player in mind for his position already.

Suffolkboy added 11:57 - Apr 16
With good grace , manners and discrete clarity PC expresses determination and professional enthusiasm !
He’s like a first class ,well trained Sergeant Major ( but with a sense of humanity and humour !) .
Onwards !Coyb

Barty added 11:58 - Apr 16
There are just 4 areas we need to vastly improve on and they are Goalkeeper , Defence , Midfield and Attack otherwise we are not too bad

dingus added 12:09 - Apr 16
Not really sure it adds up. There are plenty of other players out of contract at the end of the season, why is he not worried about them getting injured? If he wants to take the risk let him.

Marshalls_Mullet added 12:25 - Apr 16
Simply translates to 'not good enough' in Cooks view.

The potential risk of injury applies to every single player whose contract expires this season.

But its a diplomatic way of saying 'no thanks'.

Europablue added 12:26 - Apr 16
dingus Yes and no. It wasn't worth the effort of doing the legal paperwork and sometimes this kind of thing becomes the natural end to things. When you know you are leaving it really isn't worth you being around in almost any job you can think of where teamwork is important. He needs a certain number of players to fulfill the final fixtures, and it makes things easier to get one out the door earlier especially if it signals that no-one is safe.

shakytown added 12:26 - Apr 16
Dingus. the difference is the additional season clause in his contract. Would you be able to let an injured player leave when he had a contract???? Cooks done the right thing by all parties.

BlueandTruesince82 added 12:28 - Apr 16
Classy from Judge, at least he's actually tried these past few weeks and almost getting nutted by the baldie ref is a good way to sign of the banter era.

One of few players who will probabaly do well next year at tbe right club

dingus added 12:38 - Apr 16
Shakytown - he offered to amend his contract so he wouldn't be getting a renewal, so he'd be in the same boat at Chambers, Ward and many others. Why does Cook care about him getting injured but not the others?

BettyBlue added 12:42 - Apr 16
what on earth has Chambers got in his contract??

buzbyblue added 13:11 - Apr 16
"loans have left" know anything more about that from Cook Phil?

KernewekBlue added 13:37 - Apr 16
Too many freeloaders, also-rans and incompetents in this team. This has been the situation for too many seasons now. The majority of this team simply are not good enough to wear the shirt. It is time to bring the axe down on the Town careers of most of the current contract holders at this club.

There are only one or two senior squad members worth keeping and some promising talent from the youth set-up coming through who need to be given their chance in the remaining games of this woeful season. Could the kids really be any worse than the no-hopers we trot out onto the field every week?

I'd like to see Cook use the younger players in every game we have left from now until the end of the season, give them a bit of match confidence and stability in the team set-up and assess their chances of starting regularly next season.

What a summer of huge change we looking at. Let's just hope that this time, we have the right ingredients in place to start the fightback in earnest.

Roll on next season!

IpswichT62OldBoy added 13:50 - Apr 16
The beginning of A Bonfire of the Vanities

runningout added 13:51 - Apr 16
Sure Alan Judge still has more to offer to a better team. Good luck from myself

PhilTWTD added 15:45 - Apr 16

Luke Thomas has gone back to Barnsley and I asked about the Parrott, who it's whispered has returned to Spurs, but he has denied it. I assume Matheson is back at Wolves, either permanently or for treatment. I know he had a knock at one point.

gosblue added 18:07 - Apr 16
Judge is one of few that can hold their head up in terms of effort this season. I think it is simply that PC and the new owners don’t want to commit to any new contracts at this time. If we don’t turn up tomorrow as PC puts it, all loanees should be sent back and half the squad should be put on gardening leave.

therein61 added 18:12 - Apr 16
I give him credit for wanting to play for the club and forget about the option situation, we have as a club over the past 6 or 7 seasons paid up so many contracts to let players on big money leave early and weaken the team, where was the sense in that!?

Ipswichbusiness added 18:24 - Apr 16
With regards to Phil’s post, I would be sorry if Matheson has gone; young lad came in, did well for two games then disappeared when Chambers was fit again. Matheson deserved better.

Pilgrimblue added 22:47 - Apr 16
Time for PC to find the players that are going to be part of HIS team next season.
Not sure if McGavin is fit but he deserves a chance based on earlier games.
Can't carry on with ward and Chambers so must give the younger players a go.
For me the loanees have been a disaster and have not added to the squad so I'd send them all back. Time for youngsters to show what they're about.

dubblue added 00:34 - Apr 17
Very selfless on Alan's part. One of the better players this season. Best of luck!
Suggests PC plans to be ruthless there are others who need to follow!

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