Callum Bennett has not ruled out staying at Bury Town for next season after becoming the latest ex-Ipswich Town youngster to join the Blues.
The 20-year-old right-back revealed he moved to Ram Meadow on the recommendation of three of his friends from his time with the Tractor Boys.
Billy Clark, Seb Dunbar and Joe Whight have already established themselves as key players in Richard Wilkins’ team and Bennett hopes to do the same as he looks to find enjoyment in football again after his release from Notts County.
“I was excited to come here because I know the boys,” said Bennett. “I had got to the point where I had been messed around by various clubs and just wanted to get back to enjoying football again.
“Billy, Seb and Joe all told me they really enjoy it here, so I asked to come along and that’s how it happened.”
Bennett was captain of Ipswich’s under-18s during his time at Portman Road, but rejected a one-year professional contract in April 2012 and went on to sign for Notts County.
He left the Sky Bet League One side last month and has ended up with Bury in the Ryman League Premier Division, but getting back in the professional game is not necessarily at the front of his mind.
“If I do well then I know there are people who come here to watch,” he said. “I’ve been told the Southend manager comes quite a lot and there was a Colchester Under-21s coach here.
“I know if I do well, there’s the chance to progress, but at the moment I just want to get back enjoying football.
“I like all the lads, so even if I stayed here I would be happy because I want to go and do a degree, settle down and have a steady life because everything has been frantic the last couple of years.”
Manager Wilkins’ hopes of adding another Ipswich player to his squad — on loan — have ended, meaning the Blues are set to travel to leaders Dulwich Hamlet tomorrow (3pm) with the same squad that lost 2-0 to Leiston in Tuesday’s Suffolk derby at Ram Meadow.
Centre-halves Tom Bullard and Adam Bailey-Dennis will miss the visit to Dulwich and Tuesday’s trip to Enfield Town (7.45pm) through suspension, while winger Jordan Patrick is closing in on a return to fitness after his ankle injury.
Off the pitch, the inaugural meeting of the Blues’ supporters’ club will take place on Monday night at Ram Meadow (7pm).
All supporters are welcome, with matters being discussed as to how they can assist the club going forward.
January’s wages have also been paid — with just the unpaid money from November still outstanding for non-contract players in the current squad.
The club have been assisted by a new unnamed sponsor, while main sponsor Frames Conservatories Direct have also helped out.
Chairman Russell Ward said it was important to restore confidence in the players and management before discussing new contracts with those they want to stay at the club next season.
Former Lincoln City employee Matt Duckworth, who was set to become the third member of the Bury’s commercial team, has delayed his involvement due to work commitments.
n Places are going fast for Bury’s evening with the players at Valley Connection Indian restaurant on February 25 — at a cost of £19.99 per head.
To book a place, contact one of the commercial team — Dan Bush on 07753 371534 or Clive Boughton on 07917 733557.