Big boost for Lowestoft as Lubo signs
Lowestoft Town have signalled their ambition ahead of the new Ryman League Premier season with the news that Lubo Guentchev has signed a one-year contract with the Trawlerboys.
The 25-year-old had been attracting interest from several clubs at home and abroad after his end of season form almost catapulted the Blues to promotion.
Guentchev had gone to his father Bontcho's homeland, Bulgaria, to look for a full time club over the summer, but has decided his career ambitions would be better served by remaining with Lowestoft after holding talks with the club's management team.
Director of football Craig Fleming believes the signing is a 'massive coup' for the Crown Meadow outfit and hopes Guetchev can replicate the form he showed after signing on transfer deadline day from Hendon last season.
'At one point it looked like it wouldn't happen as he was keen to go full time and had gone out to Bulgaria with that aim in mind,' admitted Fleming, who takes his side to Great Yarmouth tomorrow for the first match of the Blues' pre-season campaign.
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'His form towards the end of last season was exceptional and it caught several clubs' attention.
'But we have managed to convince him to stay and it's given everyone a boost.
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'Everyone knows that we are an ambitious club and I think this signing demonstrates that.'
Lowestoft are eager to go one better than last season, which saw them agonisingly miss out on promotion in the play-off final against Tonbridge Angels.
Chairman Gary Keyzor has once again demonstrated he is willing to back the Blues with that aim in mind, although Fleming insists the club has not paid over the odds to lure Guetchev back to Crown Meadow.
'We haven't broken the bank to get him here – he is within the budget we've set ourselves here and we're delighted he will still be with us,' added the former Norwich City defender.
'I think there will come a time where another club takes another look at him but, at least for next season, he will be with us.'
Meanwhile, Fleming revealed that defender Curtis Haynes-Brown was expecting to line-up for Crewe Alexandra last night for the first game in a two-week trial with the League Two club.
Fleming admitted he doesn't want to see the former Sudbury man leave Lowestoft after starring at the heart of the Blues of the defence last season, but wouldn't stand in the way of a move to a bigger club.
'It's a doubled-edged sword to be honest,' added Fleming. 'I've spoken to him a couple of times while he has been there and he feels it is going quite well. Dario Gradi is going to be watching him tonight so we'll know more after that. Obviously, from a selfish point of view we would like to keep him at Lowestoft because he has been a quality player for us. But we are all wise enough to know that when another club comes in offering full time football then it would be unfair to stand in their way.'
Haynes-Brown helped Crewe to a 4-0 win at Congleton last night.