Johnson: Exciting times ahead

PUBLISHED: 15:08 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:20 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn assistant boss Andy Johnson used the old boys' network to land West Brom academy defender Zak Martin.

The 18-year-old has agreed a deal with the Unibond Premier outfit after a plea from ex-Baggies' midfielder Johnson to reject interest further up the non league pyramid.

King's Lynn assistant boss Andy Johnson used the old boys' network to land West Brom academy defender Zak Martin.

The 18-year-old has agreed a deal with the Unibond Premier outfit after a plea from ex-Baggies' midfielder Johnson to reject interest further up the non league pyramid.

“He was talking to a few clubs so we had to nip in fairly quickly,” said Johnson. “I Just told him come here and play in front of 1,000 or more if we're doing well and experience what it feels like at a proper football club. We also get good support away from home so why choose to go and play somewhere with 200 or 300 fans. These are exciting times and we have sold him that as well. We want him to come and be a part of it.

“Any lad who has been at West Brom is going to a decent player. I know Dan Ashworth (WBA youth development officer) and he helped us as well. Zak is a very tenacious player who loves getting stuck in. He's left sided but we might also have a look at him further forward in midfield as well.”

Johnson confirmed Lynn chief Carl Heggs' radical summer overhaul is almost complete after recruiting 12 new faces since succeeding Keith Webb at The Walks.

Heggs plans to run the rule over a clutch of pre-season trialists along with sealing a potential double loan deal from a Championship club.

“Ideally we'd maybe add another one or two players to round off the squad,” said Johnson. “We'll be looking at plenty of trialists but we are keen to bring in the reserve and youth lads as well. We've said that all along. That is the way Carl wants to go.”

Johnson will oversee the club's first pre-season training session tonight at their Leicester base.

“The lads are not being paid at this stage of the year so you can't expect them to travel over to King's Lynn,” he said. It's been a hectic period and we've both put in an incredible amount of work behind the scenes. Carl and myself just can't wait to get the lads in now and start gelling things together. We'll be training three times a week and we've got some good pre-season games lined up so I think that gives us enough time to put things in place. I'll discuss with Carl how we go about doing things on the coaching side but I'm sure I can bring some influence to bear on the midfield. Personally I can't wait to get started now.”

Heggs takes Lynn back to his former club Redditch for the Linnets' first pre-season fixture on Tuesday, July 14. (7.45pm) Club officials were forced to move the scheduled Kettering home game that evening to Saturday, July 25 at The Walks. (3pm).

Lynn face away trips in both opening rounds of FA competitions. Heggs' side travel to either Southern League duo Bury Town or Rothwell in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday, September 12. Lynn face fellow Unibond club Marine in the FA Trophy on Saturday, October 17.

Lowestoft Town's return to the FA Trophy sees them at home to Redbridge in the preliminary round on October 3 with the winners travelling to Hendon.

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