Ipswich Town.svg

Look out for the statues of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson at Portman Road.

Travel to Ipswich

It’s one of FGR’s longer journeys to Portman Road – just less than 200 miles and around 3 hours 35 minutes by road.  This is the first time Rovers will have been to Ipswich.  The return match in early August saw Ipswich win 2-1 in Nailsworth – a Josh March second half goal not enough to recover a 2-0 half time deficit.

By Coach – Supporters Club Coaches leave Stonehouse at 0830, Sainsburys at 0845 and TNL at 0900.  For full details of Away Travel, click here: – FGR Away Travel – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club (fgrsc.com) . For further information, including pickup point locations Away travel arrangements 22/23 – Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club (fgrsc.com) . Book your coach ticket with your match ticket from FGR.  Please try to book as early as possible.  There’s a 25% discount for FGR Supporters Club members – book by phone to get this on 0333 123 1889 Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3pm..

By CarPost Code for SAT NAV: IP1 2DA.  The ground is close to the town centre, so free street parking is limited.  There are 3 Pay and Display car-parks on Portman Road where 4 hours parking on a Saturday costs £4 and an NCP car-park by the railway station which is £2.70.  Another option is one of the Park & Rides e.g the London Road Park & Ride (just off the A14/A12 junction).  The cost is £2.50 and drops you a 5 minute walk from the ground (just follow the Ipswich fans doing the same thing!).

By Rail – rail ought normally to be an option for this trip.  But the train companies are showing that there are rail replacement buses on all routes on this date.  If you are going to be on a bus anyway, the Supporters Club coaches are quicker, more direct, and cheaper.

Ground Layout of Ipswich Town

The Ground

By any measure, Ipswich Town are one of the biggest clubs in League 1.  Average home gates last season were over 21,000, they have the biggest stadium in East Anglia (Portman Road is an all-seater stadium for over 30,000 people), and they sold more than 16,000 season tickets by August last year.  The 2 clubs have only met once before – last August in Nailsworth.

Away supporters are in the upper tier of the Cobbold Stand, which runs alongside one side of the pitch.

How are they doing?

Ipswich are currently in 4th place in League 1 and looking good for at least the play-offs.  They failed to make ground up on front-runners Plymouth & Sheffield Wednesday when they played their last home game against Sheffield Wednesday.  Conor Chaplin missed an early penalty before Ipswich went 2-0 down.  But they recovered to finish 2-2.  They dominated possession when they were away at Bristol Rovers in midweek, but could only come away with a point after a 0-0 draw.  3 consecutive draws leaves them 8 points off the automatic promotion places.

Ipswich are the division’s 2nd top scoring side, with 56 goals in 31 games.  Defensively, they are also impressive, conceding only a goal a game on average.

The Manager

In 2021, the club announced that US investment group Gamechanger 20 Limited had purchased a majority stake in the club. Expectations were high ahead of the following season, but following a series of disappointing results, they replaced their manager in December 2021.  New man Kieran McKenna had been assistant manager at Manchester United.  Ipswich finished last season in 11th place.

The club came down to League 1 in 2019, ending a 63 year stay in the top 2 divisions.  Their supporters are expecting a return to the Championship.

Training Ground Guru | Clarity, intensity & fun: Playing ...

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna.

Who to look out for?

Joint top scorer last season, Wes Burns, will likely be on the wing for Ipswich.  Burns, who wears number 7, scored 12 goals in his 31 starts last season.    This season he has 5 goals to his credit.  FGR fans with long memories may recall Wes Burns when he came on loan to the New Lawn in the 2012/13 season.  He made 6 appearances, scoring once.  The Welsh midfielder was named Ipswich’s player of the season last season.

Ipswich’s strike partnership of Conor Chaplin (number 10) & Freddie Ladapo (number 9) is proving deadly this season.  Chaplin joined Ipswich in July 2021, on a three-year deal for an officially undisclosed fee, understood to be in the region of £750,000.  He is enjoying his best scoring season as a professional, with 12 goals so far.  Ladapo has 10 goals this campaign.

Ipswich Town 4-0 Buxton: Conor Chaplin scores two as Tractor Boys reach round three - BBC Sport

Conor Chaplin has been in fine scoring form.

Wes Burns, one of Ipswich’s threats

Ipswich Town fan Joey Sadler praises quality of new signings ahead of season opener against fellow League One promotion contender Bolton Wanderers

Freddie Ladapo is also in good scoring form.

Rovers connections

James Norwood was released by Ipswich last summer and moved to Barnsley.  Below, in his FGR days.

James Norwood was on loan for part of a season, then played at FGR for 4 full seasons between 2010 and 2015.  He moved on to Tranmere Rovers for 4 seasons before spending 3 seasons at Ipswich.  He was released by Ipswich last summer.  As a free agent, he attracted interest from Bristol Rovers and Oxford Utd before moving to Barnsley.  Now 31, Norwood is an instinctive goalscorer – 50 league goals for FGR and 82 league goals for Tranmere were followed by 26 league goals in his 3 seasons at Ipswich.

At a similar time, Kieffer Moore appeared for Rovers for 2 seasons (2015 – 17) before making a move to Ipswich for a couple of seasons.  After 11 starts for Ipswich and no goals scored, Kieffer had failed to make an impact.  Subsequent moves to Barnsley, Wigan, Cardiff, and now Bournemouth sees Kieffer in a Premier League squad this season, as well as being a key part of the Welsh national team that played in Qatar.  Congratulations to Kieffer!

Kieffer Moore in Welsh colours

Club History

Ipswich’s achievements as a club include winning League 1 (before it became the Premier League) in 1962 and finishing runners up in 1981 and in 1982.  In 1981 they also won the UEFA Cup.  They won the FA Cup in 1978 with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal.  Quite a pedigree!

The club have been known as the Tractor Boys since the 1970’s.  How this came about isn’t very clear but it’s a nod to the importance of agriculture in this part of Suffolk and may have been the result of taunting from rival fans that Ipswich supporters have adopted with some enthusiasm!  They are also known as The Blues or Town.

By far, Ipswich’s most famous fan at the moment is Ed Sheeran, who has sponsored the Ipswich shirts for a couple of seasons.  As part of the sponsorship Ed is entitled to step out at Portman Road as the club mascot for a match.  ‘Bluey’ is a giant horse, a Suffolk Punch, and Ed could see himself in the costume, apparently!

Ipswich’s mascot, Bluey

Shirt sponsor, Ed Sheeran