King’s Lynn Town manager Gary Setchell fears Lee Smith could call it a day
- Credit: Ian Burt
King's Lynn Town face an anxious wait to discover if Lee Smith will hang up his boots this summer, writes Gavin Caney.
The midfielder has been a massive hit with the Linnets since arriving last October from Histon – even though he has been plagued by injury problems. The 27-year-old struggled to shake off a couple of muscular issues, latterly to his quad, but Gary Setchell admits Smith's fitness concerns are more serious than most realise.
Lynn's boss said: 'He has got to take stock. He's 27 and he's got exactly the same as what (former captain) Richard Bunting had with his hips.
'They've moved in, or something, so he's always going to play with aches and pains. But if he goes out of the game at 27 it'll be a crying shame. He's a player I want to keep. He makes a difference to our team when he plays. In the dressing room he makes a difference in amongst the lads.'
Smith, who has had a couple of stints with Bury Town and Lowestoft Town during his career, still managed to make 31 appearances as reformed Lynn secured their best Step Three finish yet, ninth in the Southern League Premier Division.
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Setchell was hugely impressed by his performances and is hoping to keep the energetic player in his plans if he decides not to call it a day.
'He might be one who we have to manage where he can only play 25 to 30 games a season,' said the Lynn boss, who is also the club's general manager.
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'If you get 25, 30, good games out of Lee Smith your team will be in fairly good shape though.'
Even more of a concern to Setchell remains the state of the Walks pitch.
The bobbly surface got in the way of the Linnets' attempts to create a free-flowing brand of football at home. And after producing some of their finest displays on the road, a solution to improve it is readily being sought.
Setchell added: 'If we can get this pitch better than what it's been then that would be great.
'We've had people look at it. If we can get a good surface, because some of the football we've played this season has been really good, it will help. I feel this has let us down.
'It's no-one's fault. I'm not blaming the groundsman because it's hard with the (main) stand and the weather and what not else. There's something not quite right with it because it looks grassy but there's no grass on it. That's a key area for us to try and get right.'