'I want to play every game... the gaffer's said it's down to me' - Woolfenden out to take his Town chance
PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 July 2019
Luke Woolfenden is out to take his opportunity and win a place in the Ipswich Town side for the opening day of the League One season.
With captain Luke Chambers suspended following his dismissal against Leeds on the final day of last season, the door is ajar for youngsters Woolfenden and Corrie Ndaba to win a spot for the visit to Burton on August 3.
Ipswich boss Paul Lambert has decisions to make in defence, complicated by the fact Toto Nsiala is now dealing with a hamstring injury suffered in yesterday's Interwetten Cup in Meppen, with Woolfenden hoping to get the nod for the League One opener.
"Skip (Chambers) has always been important to the starting XI but with him missing the opening game someone has to play at centre-back and hopefully that will be me.
"If it is I then have to play well enough to keep my place in the team.
"I've improved as a player with lots of games (36) at Swindon (on loan) last season, which will stand me in good stead for when the season comes and hopefully I can get into the starting line-up here.
"That's my aim and I want to play every game. That's my hope and aim, play every week. I don't really want to go out on loan again but I do want to play every week, so we'll see what happens.
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"The gaffer's told me it's down to me, really. If I play well enough then age isn't a problem, so if I do well enough then I should play."
Asked about the Blues' ambitions for the season, Woolfenden replied: "Our aim is to win the league, no doubt about it, and the aim is to get back into the Championship which is where we belong at least.
"We are a back club with a big stadium and with the players we've got we should, if we put it all together, go up."
Woolfenden, who went to school in East Bergholt, has been with the Blues since he was 11 and is enjoying being able to play for the club alongside the likes of Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes, having come through the Town system together.
"We've all grown up together since we were coming through at 13 or 14 so it makes the environment easier with a lot of people you know in there straight away," he said.
"I'm from Ipswich and me and Dozz used to play Sunday League together when we were nine so it really is like playing with your mates.
"It feels like home, walking into training every day as you know everyone and where everything is."