King's Lynn chief makes Norfolk appeal
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn joint boss Kevin Boon is appealing to Norfolk's footballing community to back the Linnets' revival.Boon is angry at the lack of support from Anglian Combination and Ridgeons League clubs over their attempts to re-build at The Walks following the previous regime's financial implosion last season.
King's Lynn joint boss Kevin Boon is appealing to Norfolk's footballing community to back the Linnets' revival.
Boon is angry at the lack of support from Anglian Combination and Ridgeons League clubs over their attempts to re-build at The Walks following the previous regime's financial implosion last season. Lynn must now begin life at both senior and reserve levels in the Peterborough-based United Counties League set-up for 2010/11 after initially favouring the Norfolk non league route.
“You have to draw the conclusion that perhaps a lot of clubs believe Norfolk football begins and ends on the outskirts of Norwich,” said Boon, with Lynn's new look squad already in pre-season training ahead of their opening friendly at Ely on July 10. “In my opinion some of the people on these committees don't have the best interests of Norfolk football at heart. On behalf of our club I want the wider football community to embrace us and include us because it isn't a healthy situation to have King's Lynn on the outside looking in.
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“Our reserves have now been accepted into the Norfolk Junior Cup and the first team will play in the Senior Cup so that is a step in the right direction. Everyone associated at King's Lynn is working hard to ensure we again become the second biggest club in Norfolk after Norwich City over these next few years. Surely the majority of local clubs would want to play us and come to our ground - which is a fantastic credit to the whole county. When it is finished it will be as good as any lower football league ground and that is something for everyone to be proud of.”
Boon dismisses any suggestion his player recruitment drive alongside joint boss Gary Setchell in recent months allied to their once dominant position within Norfolk's non league circles has caused lingering resentment.
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“It's pretty obvious that when the new club was given the go ahead myself and Setch were going to go around looking at games and looking at players,” said Boon. “Harry Redknapp went back to Portsmouth within two months and had signed three or four players for Tottenham. What is the difference? When the season was finished we naturally were going to talk to those players and try to sell them our club.
“But I've said it before, the budget we have now is the smallest any King's Lynn team has had over these past few years and we are on a par with clubs at a similar level. We also know part of the reason may be historical and the way King's Lynn was perceived in the past - but I want to stress this is a new club trying to move forward and we want to work with other clubs.”
Boon's criticism comes in the wake of the club's recent failure to place their reserve side in the Anglian Combination Premier Division.
“It's disappointing to see clubs like West Lynn and Dersingham actively looking to prevent us from joining the Premier,” he said. “If our two nearest clubs had voted for us we would have been accepted at the level we wanted but we are still totally committed to helping nurture young talent across West Norfolk. Jon Hawes won a treble at West Lynn last season and they said he went with their blessing - then they vote against what is effectively the new team he is now taking charge of alongside Neil Fryatt.
“We also feel we didn't receive sufficient support from certain other quarters within the Norfolk game. When we indicated a preference for the senior side to go into the Ridgeons at step five we had clubs making it publicly clear they had no intention of supporting us. There was only something like three Norfolk clubs in the Premier Division last season so surely everybody from the Norfolk FA downwards should actively work together to get more clubs competing at that level.”
Read King's Lynn Town club official Mark Hearle's exclusive column only on edp24.co.uk/sport