No problem as Hollman crosses divide

PUBLISHED: 10:49 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 10 September 2010

Ex-Canaries goalkeeping coach James Hollman says his ties with Carrow Road will not affect his ambitions as the latest addition to arch-rivals Ipswich Town's backroom team.

Ex-Canaries goalkeeping coach James Hollman says his ties with Carrow Road will not affect his ambitions as the latest addition to arch-rivals Ipswich Town's backroom team.

Hollman - proud of his work with such stars as Robert Green and Joe Lewis during his seven-year stint at City - joins Steve Foley and Sammy Morgan in crossing the great East Anglian divide.

But he isn't expecting Ipswich fans to hold it against him.

“I can't see any problem at all,” he said.

“There have been others before me. Steve Foley is the most recent example. I'm working behind the scenes and will get on with the job in hand.”

Hollman left City last December and will be starting his third stint at Portman Road looking to emulate his success at City by helping the Blues achieve Premier League status once again.

“It's a dream job for me to come back and work at the club I support,” he said. “It's a fantastic opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to playing a part in Ipswich moving forward.

“My priority is to get Ipswich back into the Premiership and being part of the coaching team that does that. The whole thing with goalkeeping development is recruitment first and foremost.

“You hope by casting a wide enough net that you can pick out those who stand out above the rest. It would be great to develop another England keeper but it would be a bonus not a priority.

“There are concerns in the hierarchy of professional bodies that the standard of keepers is not as good as it should be so we need to keep an eye on that or we will all suffer as a result.

“At Norwich I put some work into that and they are reaping the benefits of that now.”

Hollman left Ipswich in 1977 following a four-year stint, returning briefly to work as an academy coach after playing semi-professional football.

Morgan at that time Norwich Academy director and now an education officer with Ipswich, asked Hollman to coach City's young keepers in 2000 and he progressed to working with the first team.

Hollman beat another former Canaries goalkeeping coach, Malcolm Webster, to the job.

Town boss Jim Magilton said: “James is young and hungry for success. He has impressed me with his attitude and ideas and comes highly recommended by people he has worked with already at this club.”

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