Friday, June 20, 2008
King's Lynn sealed the biggest deal in the club's history yesterday with the high profile capture of former Premiership hitman Julian Joachim. Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins revealed the ambitious Blue Square North outfit beat off a host of Football League clubs to snatch the ex-Aston Villa and Coventry striker.
King's Lynn sealed the biggest deal in the club's history yesterday with the high profile capture of former Premiership hitman Julian Joachim.
Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins revealed the ambitious Blue Square North outfit beat off a host of Football League clubs to snatch the ex-Aston Villa and Coventry striker.
Joachim has signed a pre-contract agreement at The Walks and will complete his move next month when his current deal at League Two play off semi finalists Darlington expires.
“Without a shadow of a doubt this is the club's biggest ever signing,” said Bobbins. “Craig Fleming was up there of course but purely on Julian's age I believe this one tops it. He's a terrific lad and he will be fully committed 100% to King's Lynn. We've sold him the club and what we are trying to achieve. This is not the sort of deal you put together overnight. We've been working on it for six to eight weeks. Two Football League clubs had offered him contracts and he was talking to others so this is quite a coup for our club.
“He knows my fellow director Michael Chinn very well and I think we have convinced him King's Lynn have great potential. Dropping out of the league is not an issue. He has a young family and he wants to spend more time with them but he feels he has another two to three good playing years in him.”
Joachim forged his reputation at Leicester before a £1.5m move to Aston Villa where he notched 39 goals in 141 appearances during a five year stint in the top flight.
The ex-England U21 international also enjoyed spells at Coventry, Leeds and Boston United. Joachim joined Darlington in August 2006 and was an ever-present in Darlo's run to this season's League Two play offs. The 33-year-old started both semi final legs in the penalty shoot out defeat against Rochdale.
Bobbins insisted Lynn had not broken the bank to entice Joachim to Norfolk.
“As I keep saying to anyone who asks me, 'we will not bankrupt this club.' Any deals we do are within the parameters and guidelines set down by the board,” he said. “That applies in this case. There's no transfer fee involved. He will join us when his current Darlington contract expires next month, although he has already signed a pre-contract.”
Bobbins' predicts Joachim's arrival will send a clear message to Lynn's Blue Square North rivals.
“I hope it will make a few teams sit up and take notice,” he said. “We're not going to say we will win the league or anything like that. However we're not going into this level merely to consolidate. I think it will also have a positive impact on the rest of the current squad. When they see someone like that come through the door for pre-season training it shows the quality of player we can attract. If his work ethic and professionalism are every bit as I expect them to be, then that has to rub off on the other lads.”
Bobbins promises Joachim will not be the last summer addition to Keith Webb squad.
“No, this isn't the end for us,” he said. “We are still in the market for a maximum of three more players. We are currently talking to five but its difficult because we have been asked for silly money in wages and signing on fees. Two to three we had spoken to have since come back and discovered they can't perhaps get more money elsewhere. The ball is now in our court and Keith will make those decisions.
“I'd like to think when this news gets out any potential players can see our ambitions and think seriously about perhaps dropping out of the league.”
Bobbins also confirmed striker Matt Nolan had left the Blue Square North outfit after rejecting terms. Lynn had refused to meet the player's demands for an improved deal.
Nolan struck 17 goals in the club's Southern League, Premier Division title-winning campaign - notching the opener in the crucial final day victory at Merthyr.
The former Cambridge United striker netted 49 goals in 123 appearances for the club. Nolan has already been linked with a move to Lynn's former Southern Premier rivals Corby Town.