Lowestoft start planning for new level
Michael Bailey Lowestoft Town are hoping their early preparations for promotion will stand them in good stead next season. The Blues cruised to this season's Ridgeons League title and, following Tuesday's confirmation that Ryman League Division One North football is heading for Crown Meadow, they are already considering what they need for level four of the non-league pyramid.
Lowestoft Town are hoping their early preparations for promotion will stand them in good stead next season.
The Blues cruised to this season's Ridgeons League title and, following Tuesday's confirmation that Ryman League Division One North football is heading for Crown Meadow, they are already considering what they need for level four of the non-league pyramid.
Chairman Gary Keyzor has people waiting to offer financial assistance to the club as it prepares for the new challenge, but joint boss Ady Gallagher believes the Trawlerboys do not need wholesale changes to their playing staff.
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"We signed a few players during the season to help strengthen the squad and also prepare the squad for the possibility of going up, should it be there, and we are already looking at avenues through the summer," he said.
"Before we could pursue some people, we needed to know if we would be going up. But we have a fantastic squad of players who have improved tremendously this season and have got some further improvement in them.
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"If the right players come along who want to play at a higher level or who have done and want to be involved in what Lowestoft is all about, then we'll look at the situation. But any players coming in will have to strengthen and improve what we have already got."
Last summer's decision to add former Norwich City duo, Craig Fleming and Dave Carolan, to the Crown Meadow backroom staff proved inspired as Lowestoft embarked on a season that also included lifting the Suffolk Premier Cup and an FA Vase semi-final appearance.
And as Town look to build on their promotion to the Ryman League, they will hope first team coach Fleming and fitness coach Carolan - who also works with Colchester United - will be hanging around.
"You can never guarantee it, but the indication I've had from both of them is that they are fully committed," said Gallagher. "They thoroughly enjoyed their first season with us and many times recently they have said they have never known a team spirit like it is here, which is huge praise - especially to come from someone like Flem, who has been around the game and in some top dressing rooms.
"It is fantastic to hear, we appreciate everything they have done for us and continue to appreciate it. I think they enjoy being here and we enjoy having them, and we are as ambitious as they are."
Gallagher would not be drawn on what Lowestoft's aims will be for next season, but he admits the club are not joining the Ryman League to simply make up the numbers.
"I'm very cautious of making any predictions but we are very ambitious to do what we can," said Gallagher. "And to be honest, we'd be like that anyway. If we were in the Ridgeons League next season we'd be looking to beat what we did this year.
"We want to do as well as we can in the league we're in and our only ambition is to go higher and further than we have done in the past, and that means trying to progress beyond Ryman League football."