Summer Holidays - Town's International Review
It's been just over six weeks since the league season came to an end, but not everybody at Ipswich Town has been jetting off for a summer holiday. Here's a round-up of all the Town players who have been on international duty so far this summer.
Five Ipswich players had been called up for a variety of international commitments in the past few weeks. Fresh from helping the Republic of Ireland win the Carling Nations Cup, Damien Delaney was called upon by Giovanni Trappatoni again for a friendly match against Italy, whilst Northern Ireland's Josh Carson was named in his country's U21 side for a 2013 European Championship qualifier. Tommy Smith was unable to join the New Zealand team due to injury with striker Tamas Priskin likewise ruled out of the Hungary squad, but his compatriot Marton Fulop was able to link up with the side for two away matches. Meanwhile striker Connor Wickham was included in Stuart Pearce's England U21 squad for the European Championships in Denmark, whilst Jaime Peters was called up for Canada's CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign in the United States.
Following his Nations Cup success, Damien Delaney was celebrating again on 7 June as he won his fifth cap in a 2-0 friendly victory over Italy, albeit with only a fleeting involvement himself. The Blues defender came on as a stoppage time substitution in the match - which was being played in Liege, Belgium - after Keith Andrews and former Town transfer target Simon Cox had given Ireland the decisive goals.
Josh Carson, who had also featured in the Nations Cup, was also in action again for Northern Ireland, this time for the U21s. The Town teenager, who celebrated his 18th birthday on 3 June, played the full 90 minutes of his side's goalless draw against the Faroe Islands three days earlier; a result which temporarily puts Northern Ireland joint top of Group 4 with the Faroes by virtue of nobody else having yet played a match.
Hungarian international Marton Fulop had also been called up for qualifying action, in this case for Euro 2012, as well as a friendly against Luxembourg on 3 June. Unfortunately however, the Ipswich keeper was to be left out with Bolton Wanderers' Adam Bogdan lining up between the sticks as Hungary won 1-0 courtesy of a 53rd minute strike from Imre Szabics. Fulop then played second fiddle to former Crystal Palace keeper Gabor Kiraly as Szabics got on the scoresheet again four days later to help Hungary claim a 3-0 victory in their Euro 2012 qualifier away to San Marino, Zoltan Liptak and Vladimir Koman weighing in with the other goals. That win puts the Hungarians 3pts adrift of 2nd-placed Sweden in Qualifying Group E.
Connor Wickham also had a rather passive experience of international duty this summer. Despite much hype about his inclusion in Pearce's England U21 squad ahead of the European Championships, the 18-year-old was left out of his side's preparatory friendly against Norway on 5 June with Daniel Sturridge and Danny Rose giving England a 2-0 win. Wickham's preparations for the competition were then further hit when he suffered a minor injury in training following a challenge by Manchester United recruit Phil Jones.
Even though he did return to fitness, striker Wickham was then left out for England's entire tournament campaign as Pearce's team failed to impress. Despite Danny Welbeck cancelling out Ander Herrera's opener to rescue England a point in their first Group B encounter against Spain, things did not improve. A dire goalless draw against Ukraine followed, and even though Welbeck provided some hope of qualification with a 76th minute opener against Czech Republic, Jan Chramosta and Tomas Pekhart delivered late killer blows to knock England out of the competition, finishing 3rd in the group with just 2pts.
Sadly it was to be a similar story for Jaime Peters in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Canadian international did at least enjoy some action before the tournament, coming on as a 79th minute sub as his side drew 2-2 in a friendly against Ecuador on 1 June. Peters did not play a single minute of the Gold Cup itself though, instead being left to watch as Canada lost their opening Group C match to the hosts USA 2-0, courtesy of former Hull City loanee Jozy Altidore and Fulham's Clint Dempsey. The Canadians did win their second match 1-0 over Guadeloupe thanks to a penalty from Dwayne De Rosario, but despite the New York Red Bulls striker repeating the trick against Panama, a last gasp equaliser from Luis Tejada left Canada in 3rd place and dropped them - and Peters - out of the tournament in the first round.
Something of an anti-climax all round then for Town's international players this month, but there is more action to come. Carson will be on duty with the Northern Ireland U20s in July along with fellow Blues Caolan Lavery and Cormac Burke for the Elite Section of the Milk Cup, whilst there will also be further international matches within the first week of the new league season in August.
Have you watched - or will you be watching - any of our international players in action this summer? You can write your own review by submitting an article for Vital Ipswich, or you can add your voice to the debate on our club forums by registering an account.
And you can stay up to date with all the latest articles from Vital Ipswich by following our pages on Facebook and Twitter: