King’s Lynn boss Allitt in bullish mood
King's Lynn's 'Young Stars' chief Dale Allitt insists his youngsters can overhaul a 23-point deficit in tonight's National League KO Cup final, second leg against Buxton at the Norfolk Arena. (7.30pm)
Buxton reserve Jason Garrity scorched to paid 20 in the first tie but Allitt is optimistic of turning the tables to finish the club's difficult season on a positive note in front of their home fans.
'The lads are determined and we think we can pull that back,' he said. 'Garrity, who scored all those points at reserve, goes into the top five so he can't take seven rides again and our track is totally different. There's is very small, very slick but ours is big and grippy. The riders are all up for.
'We have to get a good start but we also have to stay calm and keep cool heads because there are several ways we can pull it back. We don't have to go out and look for 5-1s. The way I see it is 15 4-2s would be 30 points which is more than we need. We can take plenty of confidence from how we performed in the second half on Sunday. Over the last six races at Buxton we outscored them and we're also at full strength. Lewis (Kerr) was a bit of a fitness doubt but he is okay now. I think there will be a good crowd there and they can push the boys on.'
Allitt believes the club's next generation have exceeded expectations to reach a national cup final.
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'The National League team at King's Lynn is about development and pushing riders through - that is the priority not winning trophies,' he said. 'We started it out as a three year plan and this is the second year and it's all about providing riders to ride at Premier League level. Darren Mallett has gone and made that step up and would still be at that level if he hadn't had his illness, Cal McDade and Jake Knight have also had a taste and I think the future is bright. Riding in a final can only help them gain even more experience. Not every rider gets to race in a cup final. There's clubs at Premier League level who never get anywhere near, so we need to give it everything.'
Club boss Buster Chapman is confident Saddlebow fans will turn out in force to show their support.
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'We put this team together with three principles in mind,' he said. 'The riders had to be under 23 years of age, they had to be free agents or our own club assets and they had to be as local as possible. The strength of the team was only a second thought and on paper we started the season with a weaker team than anyone else, but every rider has made progress and raised their game and that is why I believe the KO Cup is far from over. The team can overturn any odds and every King's Lynn fan should be proud of them and here supporting them in the final.'
The clubs will also fulfil a National League fixture straight after the second leg has been completed at the Norfolk Arena this evening.
Admission prices for the double header: Adults �12, concessions �9, �5 juniors (aged 12 to 15) and free entry for children aged 11 and under.
Young Stars: 1 Simon Lambert, 2 Oliver Rayson, 3 Lewis Kerr, 4 Adam Lowe, 5 Darren Mallett, 6 Cal McDade, 7 Jake Knight.