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Jim Magilton delivers verdict on major Ipswich Town decision

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Ipswich Town icon Jim Magilton has given the seal of approval to the Tractor Boys’ appointment of Kieran McKenna as their new head coach.

McKenna is a fellow Northern Irelander like Magilton and they have worked with each other in the past, with Magilton bringing the 35-year-old in for coaching work when he was Northern Ireland’s under-21’s manager between 2015 and 2017.

That was when McKenna was in the youth coaching setup at Tottenham Hotspur following a shortened playing career which saw him make zero professional appearances due to injury, and after switching to Manchester United’s academy in 2016, he was coaching in the first-team at Old Trafford two years later.

Quiz: Have Ipswich Town signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?

1 of 20

Accrington Stanley?

McKenna worked under Jose Mourinho and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was often seen on the substitutes bench along with Michael Carrick dishing out instructions.

Magilton, who played for the Suffolk side between 1999 and 2006, racking up 273 league appearances before going on to manager the club between 2006 and 2009, is excited at the prospect of McKenna being in charge at Portman Road as he spoke to the club’s media team.

“He’s a very good man-manager and the players will understand what he wants from them,” Magilton said.

“There will be clear guidelines. I don’t know the players at Ipswich now. There are some experienced players there but I can guarantee you Kieran will impress them from day one.

“It might be seen as a ‘left field’ appointment because he has no managerial experience but he gained a wealth of knowledge through working at top clubs and with top players and all the demands that go with that.

“He is hungry for success and no one will work harder to achieve that than Kieran. When you add that to his coaching experience from his time at Manchester United, I’d say Ipswich have done very well to get him.

“It’s a good fit and an exciting appointment.

“He’s a very strong character and while he will want to play an attacking brand of football, he will also be adaptable.”

The Verdict

Magilton was very much liked at Portman Road by the fans as both a player and manager so McKenna arriving with his seal of approval is a big plus-point.

Despite not having much of a playing career through no fault of his own, McKenna has worked his way up the ranks at Tottenham and then Manchester United, and through his experience at Northern Ireland’s youth levels Magilton knows first-hand what McKenna can bring.

It’s certainly an exciting time for Ipswich and if he can bring another level or two out of the current squad of players then the Tractor Boys should be shooting up the table in no time whatsoever.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Jim Magilton delivers verdict on major Ipswich Town decision

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