Canucks Abroad: Jamie Peters Learning As He Goes With Ipswich

Jaime Peters continues to grow into new role at the back for Ipswich.

At just 23, Jaime Peters is already a grizzled veteran of the Canadian soccer scene.

Thrust into action with the full national side at just 17 years old, Peters had to quickly learn the difference between youth soccer and the international game. Then-coach Frank Yallop entrusted the Pickering, Ontario native with valuable playing time in World Cup qualifying for Canada way back in 2004, a puzzling decision for many Canadian supporters at the time given that there were many more experienced players available.

Ultimately, Canada once again failed to qualify for the World Cup, but a teenaged Peters earned himself experience as a full international, parlaying that into a gig with Yallop’s former club Ipswich Town (and forgoing a stint with Chelsea in the process).

Peters arrived at Ipswich as a highly-touted attacking player with speed to burn and a penchant for zipping up and down the wing. After a bright start with the Tractor Boys, Peters found himself struggling for playing time, eventually heading out on loan to Yeovil Town and Gillingham in order to gets some game action.

It was upon his return to Ipswich in 2009 that Peters would settle in as a regular in the squad, but only after Roy Keane - then the newly-minted manager at the Suffolk club - decided to try using Peters as a right back.

The experiment was a trial by fire for Peters, who had played his entire career as an attacking option. However, Keane liked the Canadian’s speed and ability to get stuck in despite his diminutive frame, and stood by his decision to make Peters Ipswich’s newest go-to fullback. After more than a year of ups and down at the position, it seems that Peters has finally settled into his role.

Ironically, his best match as Ipswich’s right back of choice came after Keane had been dismissed as manager.

A Carling Cup visit from mighty Arsenal at midweek provided the canvas for Peters to do his best work, with the Canuck basically marking Andrei Arshavin out of the match. Arsenal’s Russian attacker was visibly troubled by Peters’ speed and physicality, to the point that Arsene Wenger decided to take Arshavin out of the match at halftime and switch England phenom Theo Walcott over the the left side.

And while Walcott had a bit more success penetrating Ipswich’s territory against Peters than his Russian teammate did, it was still clear that the majority of Arsenal’s attack would not be going through Peters’ area. The Gunners chose to focus its offense down the middle of the park, a tactic which ultimately failed as the Championship side edged out its guests 1-0, an historic victory for the Tractor Boys.

Of course, as seems to always happen, Ipswich suffered a bit of a victory hangover, and followed the huge cup win against Arsenal with a league loss at Millwall three days later. For his part, Peters once again played the full 90 minutes at right back, and even got involved in the attack, although his numerous forays into the Millwall half were not converted.

Jaime Peters, Ipswich Town (England)

Away to Millwall, 2-1 loss, 90 minutes

Vs. Arsenal, 1-0 win, 90 minutes

See above.

Next up: Vs. Doncaster, Saturday, January 22

Josh Simpson, Manisaspor (Turkey)

Away to Trabzonspor, 3-1 loss, 15 minutes

Vs. Besiktas, 2-3 loss, 90 minutes, 1 goal

Josh Simpson and Manisaspor resumed their season in the Turkish Cup, losing both matches and essentially ending their hopes of advancing in the tournament.

Simpson continued his goalscoring ways, however, with the opening strike in the midweek clash versus Beskitas. He slotted the goal uncontested after a perfectly-timed run left him alone with the Beskitas keeper.

Manisaspor resumes league play on Saturday with Simpson as the club’s leading scorer (and tied for fifth in the league in scoring).

Next up: Vs. Kardemir Karabükspor, Saturday, January 22

Iain Hume, Preston North End (England)

Vs. Leicester City, 1-1 draw, 90 minutes, 1 goal

Playing in his first full match for Preston North End after his permanent transfer to Deepdale at the New Year, Iain Hume salvaged a draw with visiting Leicester City with an injury time strike on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a good run of form with Preston, after a long loan spell from former club Barnsley. Hume has scored five goals in 16 matches with his new club.

Next up: Away to Middlesborough, Saturday, January 22

Beaver Trails

David (Junior) Hoilett started and played 67 minutes for Blackburn in a losing cause, with Rovers falling 2-0 at Chelsea.

Mike Klukowski did not play and was not on the bench for Ankaragücü in a 1-1 Turkish Cup draw versus Bucaspor.

David Edgar was a late sub for Burnley, entering the match in the 86th minute in a 0-0 draw against QPR.

Simeon Jackson stayed on the bench in Norwich City’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff.

Rudi Schuller’s feature “Canucks Abroad” appears every Monday on Rudi also writes for Canadian Soccer News.

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