Foley plea to fans

PUBLISHED: 10:34 10 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:28 14 September 2010

Steve Foley is hoping Norwich City fans will understand his decision to cross the great divide and join arch rivals Ipswich.

The popular coach was unveiled as Town manager Jim Magilton's first new signing yesterday after agreeing to join the backroom staff at Portman Road.

Steve Foley is hoping Norwich City fans will understand his decision to cross the great divide and join arch rivals Ipswich.

The popular coach was unveiled as Town manager Jim Magilton's first new signing yesterday after agreeing to join the backroom staff at Portman Road.

The move comes little over a month after he was controversially shown the door by the Canaries, and is bound to raise a few eyebrows in certain quarters - but after putting pen to paper Foley insisted he had absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

“I know there is no love lost between the supporters of the two clubs but I hope Norwich fans won't judge me too harshly,” he said.

“I am a football man and I need to make a living, it's as simple as that.

“Remember it wasn't my decision to leave Carrow Road so I don't think my loyalty can be called into question. I have been involved in the game for 38 years now and I have only ever served two clubs, Colchester and Norwich, unless you count the few months I spent on the coaching staff at Watford.

“I was loyal to Colchester and I was loyal to Norwich - but in this game you can lose your job just like that and I was put in a position where I had to look elsewhere for employment.”

Foley had offers from other clubs after being sacked by the Canaries in the wake of a season of under-achievement but jumped at the chance of joining Ipswich's new-look coaching team - and not just because the club happens to be situated just down the road from his North Essex home.

“A few other clubs got in touch with me after I left Norwich and wanted to speak to me but with some of them it was a case of getting the map out!” he said.

“I would have been prepared to travel but, in an ideal world, I wanted to stay around here.

“As soon as Ipswich contacted me and Jim talked to me about his plans for the club I was excited. It didn't take me long to make my mind up.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to the challenge.

“Jim's goal is to get Ipswich back into the Premiership and although we know that won't be easy I think we have got a good group of players to work with, including a lot of youngsters. You saw what they were capable of when they came away from Carrow Road with all three points last season.

“I am not making any predictions about how it will go next season. All we can do is work as hard as we can and see where it takes us.”

Foley was happier looking forward than back after taking up a new challenge, but admitted he was still upset at the manner in which he seemed to be singled out as a scapegoat after City's disappointing campaign.

“I don't want to say too much about my departure, because it's water under the bridge now, but I didn't like the way the club dealt with it,” he said.

“It's strange the way things work out in football. I'd given 10 years service to Norwich and never expected to be shown the door like that

“It left a nasty taste in my mouth, that's for sure, but life goes on and I have come out of it with another good job at the same level so it hasn't worked out too badly for me really.

“I will be looking forward to the games against Norwich, that goes without saying, but there's Sunderland, Birmingham and West Brom as well and there will also be a couple of derbies against my former club Colchester which should both be tremendous occasions. To be honest I can't wait to get started.”

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