King’s Lynn building for the future
King's Lynn will unveil their first signing for next season on Thursday evening after agreeing a two-year deal with highly-rated ex-Norwich City youngster Ryan Fryatt.
The teenager is poised to complete the formalities during the interval of Lynn's penultimate UCL Premier Division home game against Rothwell. (7.45pm)
Fryatt is one of a quartet of Town youngsters in the Norfolk U18 squad who will contest the national FA County Youth Cup final against Staffordshire at Stoke's Britannia Stadium this weekend.
'Ryan signing this contract should give all our young players that added incentive,' said Town joint boss Kevin Boon. 'There is a link between the reserves and the first team and if they are good enough then a contract is there for them and they will be given a chance. Ryan signing a contract is a signal that he is now a fully-fledged part of the first team squad. We want to try and bring players in over the summer, but signing Ryan is like our first new addition.
'He has been involved with Norwich City's youngsters this season against the likes of West Ham and Arsenal and we feel he can cope with step five very easily. He has a massive future. We want all our lads to help this club climb the non league pyramid and if they do that then it wouldn't surprise me to see football league clubs and clubs in the Conference come and have a look at them in a few years.'
Young striker Tom Barnes has had to pull out of the Norfolk U18 party after suffering season-ending ligament damage in Monday's 3-0 league win against Holbeach.
'He has damaged the medial ligaments in his ankle and torn them in his knee so he now has to go away and heal properly and then re-focus himself to push on into the first team next season,' said Boon. 'The medical people say its rehab rather than surgery. He's got another appointment scheduled next week but as a club we'll do everything we can to work towards getting Barnesy back to full fitness.
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'It's heart-breaking for the lad and his family because they were obviously looking forward to playing at Stoke. Of course he was devastated when it happened, but I also think now he has something to aim for. He was a bit shocked to be starting against Holbeach but he deserved to play because myself and Setch (Gary Setchell) feel we have a good player coming through. It's a great achievement for the club in its first year to get five involved with the county squad and that is testament to the hard work of Neil Fryatt and Jonathan Hawes.'
Town's title bid officially ended with champions St Neots' Easter Monday derby win over St Ives – but Boon insists there is still plenty to play for ahead of the final two league matches.
'We still want to go for 103 points because that would give us a points-per-game average better than any other runner-up at step five in the country,' he said. 'If there is any chance whatsoever of going up we want to be in a position to make a strong case. We've got the facilities, the fan base, everything we need. It's my understanding there is 14 champions at step five and only 12 places available, but you can be pretty sure there are clubs out there at step four and five maybe with financial problems or possibly ground grading issues.
'Not every champion might want to go up. We made our application to go up to step four before the deadline earlier in the season so of course that is something we will monitor. Aside from that, we want to play well and finish off the season and I sense the lads want to do the same. It's an important period because we're now close to the stage where myself and Setch have to make decisions on players for next season.'