Trawlerboys must seek a clear sense of direction
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When Lowestoft Town could only field a bare XI to take on Staines earlier this month manager Ady Gallagher was embarrassed.
For a club the size of the Trawlerboys that regularly attracts crowds in excess of 500 to only have 11 players to fulfil a fixture is unforgivable.
The situation had been brewing all season and perhaps the only real surprise was that it happened so late in the season.
It feels like the Blues are at a crossroads.
Burned by their National League North experience the club appears unsure of its next destination and there desperately needs some clarity what the long term plans are.
Certainly that’s what Gallagher needs and if it doesn’t arrive then he has made it clear he won’t hang around Crown Meadow.
His loyalty to the Lowestoft cause during what has been very difficult times should not be taken for granted.
A clear plan needs to be detailed exactly what Lowestoft’s ambitions are now. It was always to be a Conference club for many years but when they got there they were unprepared for the financial and logistical commitment life at that level entails. Relegation was the result and Gallagher was asked to steady the ship this season, which he has done against a backdrop of financial cutbacks and without any academy players to fall back on.
He is quite right to ask, what next?
Do Lowestoft want a return to the Conference set-up or are they happy where they are? Whatever happens the club can’t stand still otherwise they could find themselves tumbling down the divisions just as quick as they came up. No-one at the club wants that to happen, least of all Gallagher.
Under his stewardship the club have built a nucleus of young players capable of greater things but there needs to be a financial model and a bigger squad to supplement that.
Lowestoft’s success was built around the generosity of chairman Gary Keyzor and when outside investment was sought to replace this, nothing has been forthcoming.
That is a situation that needs resolving otherwise there is a real danger that the Suffolk Premier Cup final against Needham Market next month could be Gallagher’s last match in charge of the Trawlerboys.