Heggs vows to bring back the good times
Paddy Davitt New King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs has vowed to bring the good times back to The Walks.Ex-Redditch coach Heggs insists he is the right man to turnaround the Unibond Premier Division club's fortunes after being officially unveiled as Keith Webb's successor yesterday along with assistant player/manager Andy Johnson.
New King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs has vowed to bring the good times back to The Walks.
Ex-Redditch coach Heggs insists he is the right man to turnaround the Unibond Premier Division club's fortunes after being officially unveiled as Keith Webb's successor yesterday along with assistant player/manager Andy Johnson.
“This football club needed someone young and ambitious who wants to force it forward and that is me,” said Heggs. “That is what I'm going to do. I've turned down a number of jobs before this one came along. I was offered the assistant's job at Hinckley and Solihull but I feel King's Lynn is a good place to start.
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“I'm 38, I've done my apprenticeship and I'll work my tail off to make this football club successful. If that means getting up at 5am in the morning and coming home at 12 at night to get where we want to then so be it. I'll be honest, I've not come here because I'm happy to stay at King's Lynn forever. If I can be successful, which I certainly will be, it's a stepping stone to get to the next stage but that can only benefit this football club.”
Heggs is under no illusions Lynn face an uphill task to bounce back into the Conference at the first attempt following the club's recent demotion.
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“It's not going to be easy. If it was then we'd all be managers,” he said. “I know what my goals are and so does Andy. I don't want to tell everybody what we are setting out to do because all that does is give people false hope. It's fair to say, though, we have an objective at this football club and it's not to finish mid-table.
“All I know is the family that we will build here will know what my objective is and if they don't or don't buy into that I'll kick them so hard they'll land in Peterborough.”
Heggs' squad makeover will not include ex-Premiership star Julian Joachim - with the Linnets' chief revealing he is planning for life without any of Webb's senior first team squad from last season.
Highly-rated teenage hitman Dominic Dwyer is set to take up an American football scholarship alongside reserve prospects Kyle Nicholls and Joe Setchell.
“Why do I want Julian Joachim in this football club? Why do I want Mark Peters in this football club? Why would I want any of that team?” said Heggs. “I know everything about them from the number of appearances to how many they scored. I've done my homework and they finished 17th in the Conference North. If any of them want to phone me up and have a chat that is fine. I've spoken to the chairman and told them he can pass on my number but they are not under contract so they've left the football club.
“This is my opportunity and I'm taking it with both hands. I don't want under achievers. I don't include the two lads [Dwyer and Ross Kelly] in that but they are probably the only two. I want to build a team where supporters go away thinking, 'we loved that today. The lads gave their all for the football club.' Ideally we want a squad of 14 and then we'll tap into the reserves.”
Heggs plans to hold further talks with four potential recruits this weekend - including one of last season's leading Conference North marksmen - after raiding his former club for wide player Owen Storey and teenage midfielder Jordan Smith. Ex-Mansfield trainee goalkeeper Daniel Whatsize has also made a Walks' switch.
“I've identified a number of players that would be good for King's Lynn,” he said. “I'm not going to get 34 or 35 year old has beens who want a one year deal to see out their career. I'm not going to mention names in case they fall through but we're working extremely hard and hopefully we can have four or five new signings next week. Every one of them will be players who want to come and help King's Lynn progress.”
Heggs did confirm experienced centre back Peters was in the running for the assistant's post.
“I had to cover all my bases and I spoke to Mark along with someone else,” he said. “But when I met up with Andy we had a good chat for a couple of hours and at the end of that I shook him by the hand and said I was absolutely made up that he was going to be my assistant. He knows the club and let me make one thing clear - we will do it together. It is Carl Heggs and Andy Johnson. Not just me.”
The former Norwich midfielder wants to embark on a coaching career after moving to The Walks last season.
“I'm still going to play but coaching is an area I want to get into and I'm thankful Carl has asked me to do it,” said Johnson. “It's the first rung on the ladder for him as a manager and me as assistant. We want to take the place forward because it has been in the doldrums these last few years.
“Carl is a very enthusiastic guy and that rubs off on players. That is how we'll sell the club. We've both been in the game a long time, we've got a lot of friends out there with influence and we'll be using that to our advantage. The thing is now this is our show and our chance to build something. If we fail it's because of us - not because we've inherited someone else's players.”
Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins confirmed at the press conference majority shareholder Michael Chinn is expected to formally re-join the club's board next week.
Club officials are also in discussions with Keith Rudd and Neil Fryatt over next season's Norfolk Senior Cup winning reserve side following second string boss Steve Lilley's decision to stand down.
Visit edp24.co.uk/sport for video reaction from Lynn's new managerial team Carl Heggs and assistant Andy Johnson at The Walks.