WALSHAM-LE-WILLOWS manager Paul Smith is relishing the visit of npower Championship side Ipswich Town to the Meadow on Saturday.
It will be the first time the Ridgeons League Premier Division outfit has faced a professional team and the boss is looking forward to the test his side will face from the Tractor Boys.
He said: “It is very exciting that Ipswich are coming to town. It will be great for everyone and a good chance for all of our players to get involved against a side like that. Hopefully we will be able to put on a half decent game.
“I believe it will be a mixture of youth and reserve players for them but it will still be a great test for my players to face a full-time, professional side.
“We have been back in training for five weeks now and it will be good to see how fit the lads really are.
“I know they have been training hard but you can do all the fitness training you like, it is not until you are in a match that you can see the real levels.”
The Willows will also be boosted by the news that popular midfielder Paul Musgrove is set to remain with the club for the coming season.
Musgrove, who is in his third stint at the club, had been reportedly mulling over an offer from league rivals Hadleigh United but has decided to comitt his forseeable future to Walsham, leaving the manager delighted at the news.
He added: “It is great news that Paul will be staying, he has been here for a while and will be my vice captain for the season.
“He is an experienced player and it is important to keep hold of your experinced players. You need a couple to mix with the younger players and that is what we will have.”
Walsham put the disappointment of having their game called off at Sheringham at the weekend with a resounding 4-2 victory at Ipswich Wanderers on Tuesday night.
Jack Brame’s double strike was added to by Ollie Hughes, before new signing James Heathcote rounded off the scoring with his first goal for the club in the Willows’ opening pre-season friendly.
Ipswich Town have also confirmed the squad that will be travelling to the Meadow tomorrow for the friendly and is as follows:
Connor O’Donnell, Callum Bennett, Aaron Jones, Jide Maduako, Nic Schroder, Elliot Scotcher, Carel Tiofack, Lewis Acott, Jonathan Leddy, Shaun Meikle, David October, Jack Simmons, Gunnar Thorsteinnsson, Mark Timlin, Tom Winter, Aaron Ryan, Conor Eynon. Coach – Russell Osman.