Boon hails the Chapman factor

King's Lynn's return to the non league scene after the previous regime was wound up over escalating debts ended in ultimate disappointment.

But in the second part of his seasonal review, joint boss Kevin Boon tells PADDY DAVITT there is plenty of cause for optimism.

Boon dismisses any suggestion Lynn's near misses in league and cup competitions last season proved a sour epitaph to their debut campaign.

The Linnets were beaten by Coalville in the FA Vase semi-finals, Dereham in the delayed Norfolk Senior Cup final and lost out by two points to St Neots in the race for the UCL Premier Division title.


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'My view is anyone who suggests we did an Arsenal is wrong. I totally disagree,' he said. 'Football at The Walks was the winner. Look at where senior football was 12 months ago. Nowhere. What we have now is really down to the Chapman family and the council joining forces. Ask the majority of those fans who come along and they will tell you we're now in a strong position to kick on.

'There were 280 clubs or so at step five and only 14 winners get the chance for promotion. Step five is hard and none more so than our league when you had two teams who finished with 100 points. From week one to week 40 there was always something at stake and plenty of entertainment. The Chapmans run the financial side, we focus on the football but when we wanted anything from Christmas onwards they looked after us.'

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Boon believes the club's owners have come in for unfair criticism after being awarded the council lease in January 2010 to re-launch senior football in the town.

'You only have to look beyond the football side,' he said. 'They have developed the facilities at the ground now to a level where they can hold corporate events, wedding receptions, birthday parties and everything generated is to try and help the football club. It's not just the 40 weeks of the football season - looking after that ground is a 52-week commitment and a lot of unsocial hours. They do get quite down from criticism that comes there way, but if they didn't do it then I'd like to know who would to the same degree in terms of money and effort.

'Don't forget there was a five week period before Christmas with no football due to the bad weather. Every player contracted or not got paid. That was 18 wage packets when in theory you only have to pay the contracted players, but Buster said he would honour the wages for 40 weeks. He allowed us to put five lads on contracts as well and he knows he has to pay them for the duration of those deals.'

Boon revealed Town's chairman had also funded a major upgrade of The Walks' playing surface since the end of the season.

'He's spent more than �5,000 on the pitch with re-seeding, improving drainage, re-turfing the goal mouths and the touchlines,' said Boon. 'It'll be like a bowling green and that is why you have to give Buster and his family the utmost credit. The season has just finished and they are shelling out again.'

Boon admits with that level of backing it is down to Town's management and playing staff to deliver.

'The league is our top priority. 100%,' he said. 'Obviously with the FA Vase we should come in around the second round next time, which helps in terms of the number of games we have to play. We weren't in a position to rest players last season. When match day came round, you needed to pick up the three points because you had a St Neots winning every week. That is the pressure we were under.

'This time around we know what we have in the reserves. They are so important to the club. Neil (Fryatt) and Joff (Jonathan Hawes) probably had a little bit harder situation than myself and Setch (Gary Setchell) because they were forced to play youngsters, yet they brought in quality. We had five in the county squad who won a national competition. There is a lot of talent in the West Norfolk area. It's just a case of bringing it in and nurturing it.'

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