Hard work will create more rich pickings for King’s Lynn Town
- Credit: IAN BURT
Ask any non-league fan if they have heard of King's Lynn and their answer will almost certainly be yes.
Now pose the same question to a supporter of the semi-professional game but use the words King's Lynn Town instead. On the surface it looks a small difference to make, but in reality the additional word has a seismic impact.
While the 'old' Lynn had years of history and some big-name rivals the 'new' club – formed when the Linnets were wound up in the High Court in December 2009 – is just three seasons old. And that's all the time it has taken for the past to become the present.
When The Walks club went out of business they were plying their trade at Step Three of the non-league ladder. Now, Gary Setchell's Evo-Stik Division One South champions will return to the same level after securing back-to-back promotions. While their first, after finishing runners-up to Long Buckby in the United Counties League (UCL) Premier Division, may have come somewhat fortuitiously, few can argue that Lynn are back where they belong.
A massive club, old or new. Massive crowds. Massive main stand. Massive expectation. Massive finances. And until now, a massive name among a smattering of small clubs. But that is all about to change.
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They're back in with some of the 'bigger' boys, like FC United – formed by disillusioned Manchester United fans after the Glazers took over the Old Trafford giants in 2005 – and AFC Fylde. The latter have been flexing their financial muscle this summer by spending five-figure sums on players but Setchell insists his men are unlikely to leave their fans feeling short changed.
'It was no secret in the UCL (2010-12) we were probably the biggest spenders,' said the Lynn boss. 'I don't think we were actually the biggest spenders last season but we were the biggest club certainly, apart from perhaps Northwich Victoria. But this season, we're one of the bigger clubs – not the biggest – and we're certainly not the biggest spenders by a long chalk.
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'So what we get out of this season will be through hard graft, organisation, our fitness and players with plenty of desire. One thing is a fact though and that's no team will have more desire than us.'
While the club may have been seen by many as a big hitter, those principles have been instilled in every one of Setchell's current crop. First-team assistant Neil Fryatt and Ross McNeil, as well as chairman Buster Chapman, have helped the man at the helm build an ethos.
It's an ethos that has seen the Lynn family overhaul Coalville Town to a memorable title. An ethos that has seen the boys from The Walks work together and grow into an almost unmovable force. And it's an ethos that could see them push for a top-half finish, at least, in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
- This article appeared in our 'The Big Kick-off' non-league supplement on August 9.