Price plans progress for beaten Blues
Michael Bailey Lowestoft Town chairman Geoff Price has vowed to back his managers for a Ridgeons League title push next season as the dust finally settles on the club's historic, if ultimately heartbreaking FA Vase run to Wembley.
Lowestoft Town chairman Geoff Price has vowed to back his managers for a Ridgeons League title push next season as the dust finally settles on the club's historic, if ultimately heartbreaking FA Vase run to Wembley.
The Blues' suffered last minute heartbreak in Sunday's final, having to watch Kirkham & Wesham captain Dougie Shaw lift the Vase after their 2-1 win.
But Price is determined the financial and commercial benefits of their Vase success are put to long term use - starting with this summer's upgrading programme on Town's Crown Meadow ground.
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The work will start next month to ensure a repeat of Lowestoft's 2006 Ridgeons League Premier Division championship-winning season can be followed up with promotion to the Ryman League.
And Price confirmed money will be available for Town's management duo of Micky Chapman and Ady Gallagher to bring in the players of their choosing - providing the price is right.
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“We'll have and make money available to them, but we're not going to pay silly money for people,” said Price, determined to keep the club on a secure financial footing after it came within one tax bill of closure last year.
“People will think we have a lot of money after the Vase, but it isn't the case. We're not cash rich and we still have a mortgage to pay.
“But we are upgrading the ground so that when we win another title, we can be promoted up to the Ryman League. We will invest some money in the future and put some away for a rainy day as well.”
Although the exact numbers are still being crunched, the Vase final - the only round Lowestoft are set to make any money from - should see them better off to the tune of around £60,000.
Some of the money will also go towards plans for a new Player Development Centre at the back of Crown Meadow to improve the club's youth set-up.
But for the first team, Price has only one goal in his sights and is determined it will happen.
“Mick and Ady are shrewd managers,” added Price. “They know who they're looking for and we will only take players at the right price. We only want players who really want to, and would take pride in, playing for Lowestoft Town.
“The ground upgrading will give us clearance to go up to the Ryman League and that is my personal target. The players may want to get to the Vase final again, but that is what I want.
“I want us to go out there next season, get the points on the board and prove we're back as a force - and go out and win the league.”
But Price was also happy to acknowledge the best in the club's long history, with 15,000 Lowestoft fans cheering on the Suffolk side during Sunday's Vase final.
“The day was fantastic, to see the seats around the pitch full of blue and white, the Mexican wave. The result was very disappointing but as I tried to explain to the managers, there should be so much pride,” he added.
“They were very down and they don't like losing, just like the players. But this has brought us all together, all a lot closer for next season.”