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By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Gary Setchell probably punched the air when he found out King’s Lynn Town had been promoted to Step Four of the non-league ladder last week, and who can blame him?
Chairman Buster Chapman said he wanted the Linnets to get promoted within two years when the club was reformed. Setchell’s side have now achieved that.
While some will moan and whinge that they have gone up by virtue of finishing second, it does not matter in the slightest. Opinions count for one thing, but facts count for another.
Manchester United won the Treble in 1999, capping their remarkable season with the most dramatic of Champions League final comeback victories. Do you think Sir Alex Ferguson looks back and remembers his side got in the competition by finishing runners-up to Arsenal and winning a summer qualifier?
Of course he doesn’t. Long Buckby’s name may be in the UCL record books as league winners for the 2011/12 campaign – a remarkable achievement in itself.
But the fact a club has been dragged from its grave, with no players, to get over 100 points twice in a row is almost unheard of. Equally incredible is the fact they only have consecutive runners-up medals to show for it.
Despite that, many non-Lynn critics – and there are some, albeit a few outside of The Walks’ outfit’s staff and supporters – agree that King’s Lynn deserve a crack at a higher level.
With facilities most clubs at their new level, or even one or two above, would dream of, Lynn’s ground deserves to be used at a better standard. But most importantly, so do the club’s fans.
Their beloved Lynn died in 2009, but they have since watched in their hundreds to try and cheer the Linnets back to where they belong. Setchell’s side were the best supported at Step Five; now they’ll be one of, if not the best, at Step Four of the ladder.
As to which league they’ll be cheering their side in, only the FA knows. They will reveal that fact tomorrow after announcing their set-up for next season.
Lynn look likeliest to join the Ryman Division One North, a league that mainly consists of sides in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex and some on the fringes of London. Their nearest trip would be to Soham, or fellow Norfolk Step Four new-boys Wroxham, if the latter were placed in the same division.
They could be dropped into the Ryman Division One South league, where trips regularly go beyond the capital to the south coast. Or, they could end up in Evo-Stik Division One South, a move which would see them travel up north as far afield as Sheffield, but more regularly to teams like Stamford and their FA Vase semi-final nemesis’ Coalville.
While their exact destination remains uncertain, for now, one thing is concrete. Lynn are 99.9pc likely to accept whatever league they are placed in. They have the desire and budget to cope with any Step Four league.
One thing that is 100pc certain, though, is wherever, or whoever, Lynn play, their fans will be there in force again dreaming of another promotion as the bandwagon continues to charge full steam ahead to a Step Three return.