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Ipswich Town legend Matt Holland joins Ipswich Town Community Trust board along with current players Conor Chaplin and Natasha Thomas and CEO Mark Ashton



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Ipswich Town have announced four new appointments to the trustees that will sit on the board of their community arm, the Ipswich Town Community Trust.

Popular former promotion-winning skipper Matt Holland, who was the patron of the disbanded ITFC Charitable Trust, is among them along with the Blues' CEO Mark Ashton.

Both the current male and female first-teams are also now represented with respective players Conor Chaplin and Natasha Thomas also announced as being appointed today.

Holland, 47, who led Town to promotion to the Premier League in 1999/2000 before finishing in a European spot the following season, told iFollow Ipswich: "It's a proud moment.

Ipswich Town Community Trusts' new trustees (from left) Mark Ashton, Natasha Thomas, Matt Holland and Conor Chaplin - pictured along Ipswich Town's head of community, Jason Curtis (far right) Picture: ITFC
Ipswich Town Community Trusts' new trustees (from left) Mark Ashton, Natasha Thomas, Matt Holland and Conor Chaplin - pictured along Ipswich Town's head of community, Jason Curtis (far right) Picture: ITFC

"I'm delighted to still be associated with this football club and it's always nice to be home.

"Mark and I had a chat about the role and I was and I was really keen to be involved.

"It's a big step for the football club and it's great to see everyone excited."

Chaplin, signed to play for Paul Cook's team from Barnsley over the summer, said: "I'm really happy to take on this role.

"The community is so important to a football club and we want to develop the connection with our supporters."

Thomas, who is The Tractor Girls' all-time leading goalscorer, said: "This is an exciting time for the club and I'm so pleased to be given this opportunity.

"You can feel how together the club is at the moment, and we want to continue to build bonds with the community.

"Getting the club out there in the community is huge and feels like a great step.

Meanwhile, CEO Ashton, who joined over the summer from Bristol City, described the appointments as 'an important day for the club'.

He said: "We've talked, since I arrived in June, about the importance of the community and the community being at the centre of everything the club does.

Former club skipper Matt Holland (left) and current CEO Mark Ashton (right) have become trustess of Ipswich Town Community Trust Picture: ITFC
Former club skipper Matt Holland (left) and current CEO Mark Ashton (right) have become trustess of Ipswich Town Community Trust Picture: ITFC

"We've been working behind the scenes to form an official board of trustees, and they will help set the strategic vision for the Trust, while also helping to drive it forward.

"We're really excited with the people we have approached, and they've shown a real interest in the Trust, and they're all keen to be involved."

Asked what the role of a trustee for the Community Trust entails, he said: "It's a role that has legal responsibilities, so it's not just the case of being an ambassador.

"These people will help ensure the Trust is ran properly, and they will help drive things forward.

"It's similar, in a way, to being a director of a business, but a director of a charitable trust.

"The charities commission demands certain standards, and these trustees will make sure we hit those standards.

"These trustees have been selected to help us create a Trust that is unique to Ipswich, and unique to the county. We want to use the fantastic brand, that is Ipswich Town, to engage with the community. It's very exciting."

Town's head of community, Jason Curtis, is delighted at the developments since Ashton came to the club.

"Since day one Mark has emphasised the importance of the Community Trust, and, more importantly, the impact we have on people in the community," he said.

"This is of course music to the ears of our hard-working team, and we look forward to this new approach."

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