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Moritz Volz talks of his move to Ipswich

last updated Monday 08th September 2008, 9:51 AM
Moritz Volz
Moritz Volz
You make plans and all of a sudden they go out of the window. Or, in my case, the transfer window. I am sure that everyone in football, except agents, breathed a sigh of relief when the window closed last week because it can be unsettling not knowing what your future holds.

For the whole of this summer I did not have a clue about where I would be living and working this season. “What’s happening with you?” was a question I was constantly asked. But I did not know the answer any more than anyone else. I still had a contract at Fulham, so there was every chance I would be staying put. But I could have just as easily ended up in another country. And all that uncertainty is tough to deal with.

As always, you report for preseason ready to start working hard and with ambitions and targets. Then you read stuff in the press saying that you are going here or there, but because no one at your club has told you about any interest, you have to assume that it is all just hot air. However, you cannot help but wonder where it is coming from. There are so many rumours flying around in the media that sooner or later they have got to get one right. Incidentally, my favourite place to read about transfers has to be the gossip section of skysports.com: “My brother’s friend’s dad’s cousin goes to the same pub as the guy who’s married to the sister of the groundsman’s dog and he said he saw, blah, blah, blah . . .” Now that’s what I call a reliable source.

In the meantime, you are watching your club sign players, which is usually a good indicator of whether your chances are going to be limited. Clubs have plans, they know who they want to buy, but a lot of the time they will not let existing players know if they are planning to move them on. They just go on bringing players in, which, in effect, is forcing existing squad members out because any decent player will want at least a realistic chance of pushing for a place. And if there are four others in your position, all of a sudden there is not much to look forward to.

So for weeks and weeks there are all these signs but no action. And then, as the end of the window approaches, calls start being made and it all begins to happen. For a transfer to happen it takes so much time behind the scenes, but once it gets to the stage when it is finally about to go through, it all moves so quickly that you do not have the time to let even those close to you know before they pick it up from the media.

Everyone knows that moving is a big upheaval, especially if you have a family. But being a footballer is not like other professions, where a new job usually offers a few weeks to organise everything. You are signing at the new club one day and training there the next. That is the way it goes, no matter where the new club may be.

That means you rarely get a chance to say any farewells. I still have not said goodbye to anyone at Fulham since moving to Ipswich Town on a season-long loan, even though I spent five years there and built many friendships. I have not even collected my stuff from the training ground. So, if you are reading this, Brede Hangeland, that tin of bratwurst is all yours – and tell Jimmy Bullard he can have my Europop CDs . . .

Before all that, though, you have to go through the all-important medical, the point at which everything can come apart in an instant. Medicals vary from club to club, but you are usually assessed by at least two doctors and every player has a medical file that details all of your injury history. You cannot blame the clubs for protecting their interests, but failing a medical is a big thing for any player because it can harm your whole career. Once you are tagged with a failed medical, people become very suspicious. Fortunately, I got through mine at Ipswich without any issues – they did not try and get me to pull a tractor or anything.

So once the deal is done, all that is left to face is the first day, which is not unlike any first day at any new job – lots of unknowns. Of course, you hold back a bit. You do not want to go bowling in as if you have been there years. You need to get a feel for how things are done, what is appropriate and what is not. But it has been an easy transition at Ipswich because it is a very friendly club and I am really enjoying it already. I have just got to get the local press to spell my name right. They are nearer to Germany, so you would think they would know better. There is no “t” in Volz, chaps.

Source Moritz Volz at The Times
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