Crichton wraps up deal with Linnets

Former Norwich City stopper Paul Crichton has been confirmed as King's Lynn's number one for next season.Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins revealed yesterday the experienced 38-year-old had agreed non-contract terms at The Walks.

Former Norwich City stopper Paul Crichton has been confirmed as King's Lynn's number one for next season.

Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins revealed yesterday the experienced 38-year-old had agreed non-contract terms at The Walks.

Crichton makes a permanent move after his release from Conference National Cambridge United following a successful eight game loan spell last season.

“Paul has committed himself on a non-contract basis,” said Bobbins. “We were also speaking to Scott Howie and both naturally wanted to be the number one. Scott will not be part of the squad, but he is happy to step in if we need him. Clearly you wouldn't expect him to do all the travelling involved just to sit on the bench. I'm sure Keith (Webb) will be looking at the back-up keeper situation in due course.”

Bobbins also disclosed the club is in talks with two fresh targets.

“We have spoken to a couple of lads who are currently under contract,” he said. “Keith has told them what we can do, but until I sit down with the chairmen you can't predict anything. These things are never straightforward. Sometimes it can be the player, the club or even the player's wife that is the problem. There aren't any agents involved which I hope can simplify things.”

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Linnets' chief Webb is poised to unveil his assistant manager later this week when he returns from an FA coaching course. Bobbins also revealed the club is looking for a centre-back with Danny Hammond set to move to the Far East.

Lynn's chairman has not ruled out a surprise return for teenage defender Sam Gaughran to tie in with the club's football development programme launch later this year. Gaughran has been offered a deal by Coca-Cola League Two Peterborough United.

“It's my understanding Sam has not yet signed and he would be an ideal candidate for our new scheme,” said Bobbins. “Danny is likely to leave and if he does we would need another centre back. We've had extremely good discussions both with the local college and KES on getting things up and running.

“We expect to put a plan together within the next fortnight. These lads will train with fully qualified coaches at least three mornings a week. From a football standpoint it would be totally under Keith's control.”

It was confirmed last night that Lynn would once again be plying their trade in the Southern League next season. FA officials have moved Stamford into the Northern Premier, while relegated Nationwide South pair Bedford Town and Weston-super-Mare are joined by newly promoted Bashley, Swindon Super-marine, Brackley Town and Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern League.

Recent Southern Premier champions Salisbury emulated 2005 winners Histon by clinching promotion to the Conference National over the weekend.

Bobbins insisted Lynn can make the same leap.

“I think supporters will look at that and see how difficult the Southern Premier is,” he said. “Undoubtedly it is the strongest league at our level and what those teams have managed underlines the point. We've just got to avoid the play-off farce and win the league. There's always a side that seems to come out of the pack and we have to make sure it is us this time around.”

Southern Premier League 2007/08: Banbury United, Bashley, Bedford Town, Brackley Town, Bromsgrove Rovers, Cheshunt, Chippenham Town, Clevedon Town, Corby Town, Gloucester City, Halesowen Town, Hemel Hempstead, Hitchin Town, King's Lynn, Mangotsfield United, Merthyr Tydfil, Rugby Town, Swindon Supermarine, Team Bath, Tiverton Town, Weston Super Mare, Yate Town.