Crane so proud to lift massive prize
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn's title-winning skipper Greg Crane admitted lifting the giant Southern League, Premier Division championship shield took a huge effort - literally.
King's Lynn's title-winning skipper Greg Crane admitted lifting the giant Southern League, Premier Division championship shield took a huge effort - literally.
Crane and centre back sidekick Rikki Bains again excelled at the heart of Lynn's miserly backline to blunt the Martyrs' attacking threat at Penydarren Park.
But the former Norwich trainee's struggles continued on the final whistle alongside club captain Mark Warren amidst the Blue and Gold celebrations.
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“The trophy was a beast to lift,” said Crane. “It took some effort. Wazza is a big chap but I haven't really got the arms. I won a championship with Lowestoft but this tops it. It means a lot more to me because it's at a higher level with a lot more at stake. I want to be playing the best and the more you win the more you move up.
“No disrespect to Merthyr but you don't want to be coming to these places. That's what we play for. All the Merthyrs away or Mangotsfields on a Tuesday night. It's to enjoy these moments.”
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Crane perched precariously on the dugout wall to share Lynn's title winning moment with a sea of delirious visiting supporters.
“The whole team really wants to say a big thank you to the fans,” he said. “The last few weeks and months they have been superb for us. Not just at home but places like Team Bath, Mangotsfield, Gloucester. What other fans would travel this distance to come and see us?
“The scenes in the dressing room were unbelievable. The squad has been great this season, the banter is spot on and everyone has had such a great time. I'm proud that we've managed to do it together because I've got so much respect for everyone in that team.”
Crane insists once the title winning party is over Lynn can plot a serious assault on reaching the Blue Square Premier next season.
“There's no reason we can't do a Histon and go on up to the Conference,” he said. “This club is big enough to do that. Look at the ground, look at the fans. You don't get anywhere near our crowds in the league above. We played Eastbourne Borough when they were top and beat them 3-1 at home so why not? We definitely fancy it. I'm sure the gaffer will bring in one or two new players. That's the nature of football so you never know what will happen. But we want to compete and there's no reason why we can't.”
Crane relished his own Anglo-Welsh muscular tussle with Merthyr's towering front man Mike Jones.
“They were calling the lad up front 'Crouchy' and it was very tough,” he said. “Merthyr were lumping big balls up to him and we gave away some silly free-kicks which allowed them the opportunity to put balls in our box.
“Luckily Scotty pulled off some good saves and we cleared off the line a couple of times. I think at the start of the game we were very tense.
“The gaffer told us beforehand none of the other top four had won here so we knew it would very tough.”